In 1999, Jimmy Kimmel was far from the man we see today. And THANK GOD for that.

The year was 1999 and budding comedian Jimmy Kimmel had just got his big break: a co-hosting role on a show he created with two mates, fellow co-host Adam Carolla and executive producer Daniel Kellison.

The Man Show was an abrasive weekly tribute to male bravado and boorishness. It aired on the Comedy Central channel for 20-minutes a pop and promised to simultaneously mock masculinity while also championing it.

It certainly succeeded at the latter.

jimmy kimmel career
Adam Carolla (left) and Jimmy Kimmel (right) on The Man Show.

A fresh-faced Kimmel and Carolla would open every show alongside "The Juggy Dance Squad" - that is, a group of scantily-clad "buxom" women dancing on the stage and through the aisles.

While the Juggy Dance Squad was tasked with keeping the predominantly-male audience enraptured, the "Girls on Trampolines" - a segment that was as seedy as it sounds - were rolled out at the conclusion of every episode to make sure the men had a trail of saliva to follow back next week.

If you never had the pleasure of watching such an intelligent, thought-provoking production, here's a snippet of what you missed out on:

Jimmy Kimmel: We are building a dam.

Adam Carolla: A dam to hold back the tidal wave of feminisation that is flooding this country.

Jimmy Kimmel: A dam to stop the river of oestrogen that is drowning us in political correctness.

Adam Carolla: A dam to urinate off of when we're really drunk.

Jimmy Kimmel: We call this dam...

Both: ... The Man Show.

Kimmel's rise to television success was built on a foundation of sexism, which comes as a surprise when you observe the material the 50-year-old puts out into the world today.

It would be easy to chastise a man for his embarrassing behaviour two decades ago; that's not what we're here to do.

In the 20 or so years since the media heavyweight held "Trampoline Girl Tryouts" - where he yelled "you had to wear the long skirts, huh?" and encouraged women to take their bras off in front of dozens of strange men - the message he puts out to the masses has changed.

Thankfully, by all accounts, Jimmy Kimmel is no longer the comedian he once was.

As the host of the 90th annual Academy Awards on Sunday night, a much older and wiser Kimmel used his platform of millions to spark something positive. Something important.

Woven into many of the Jimmy Kimmel Live host's jokes and speeches was a bold thread of feminism:

On Mel Gibson: "Here's how clueless Hollywood is about women. We made a movie called What Women Want and it starred Mel Gibson. Kind of all you need to know."

On #MeToo: "The world is watching us. We need to set an example. And the truth is if we are successful here, if we can work together to stop sexual harassment in the workplace. If we can do that, women will only have to deal with harassment all the time at every other place they go."

On The Shape of Water: "We will remember this year as the year men screwed up so badly, women started dating fish."

The cynics among us might say that this is a transformation out of necessity more than authenticity; in a post-Weinstein era comics have no choice but to be woke and feminist. Their careers depend on mirroring public consciousness. And these people certainly have a point.

We deep dive on the brilliant film making history at the Oscars this year, on our pop culture podcast, The Binge. Post continues.

But there is also a point for people changing - in giving them the benefit of the doubt, and trusting that with time and maturity their eyes have been opened to imbalances that continue to permeate society.

So thank goodness for Jimmy Kimmel's transformation. Thank goodness the millions of men, boys, women and girls watching at home heard his point loud and clear: Women are powerful. Women are men's equals. Women want change.

Hopefully, he's led the way for the many more trailing behind.

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