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Michael B. Jordan hauls off and socks Jimmy Kimmel, Adonis Creed-style

Michael B. Jordan, Jimmy Kimmel
Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Michael B. Jordan, for all his talent at playing brutal dictator supervillains, power-punching boxing champions, and the occasional on-fire guy, seems like a personable dude. Plus, the man can straight-up wear a suit, as he appeared on Tuesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! to promote the Rocky spinoff sequel (which is too a thing), Creed II, looking sharp, being his signature charming self, and, finally, punching host Kimmel right through the back of the set.

Perhaps Jordan was stung by Kimmel teasing him about how an in-character Adonis Creed interview segment with Kimmel was cut out of Creed II. No, they seemed to move past that, and Jordan seemed satisfied with the verbal swipe he took in response to Kimmel’s featherweight jab that, of the three people in their scene (himself, Jordan, and Tessa Thompson), only one didn’t make the final cut. “And me and Tessa is in the rest of the movie,” Jordan snapped back effortlessly, before offering some free acting lessons. Ding.

After showing off Jordan’s recent GQ cover—complete with actual wolf Jordan was wisely instructed not to look in its eyes—Kimmel asked if Jordan wouldn’t mind punching him in the face. Now, there are plenty of people—Donald Trump, the NRA, kids whose parents pull Kimmel-inspired pranks about eating all the Halloween candy—who might want to take a poke at Kimmel. But Jordan, after explaining how it’s the person taking the screen punch who does most of the selling, obliged by having Kimmel take a swig of water for spit-spraying verisimilitude and instructing him on just how to make it look like Adonis Creed just knocked his block off with a straight right. They went slo-mo on the punch, with Kimmel selling the blow with a strategic head jerk—and then propelling his desk chair back into the set’s projected backdrop, which cut to a Kimmel-shaped smashed console effect. It looked okay (Kimmel hit the wall slightly off-target), but was improved when Kimmel’s production people sneakily sped things up, Sarah Huckabee Sanders-Jim Acosta propaganda movie style, making it look like Jordan had truly done some Creed-esque damage.


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Dennis Perkins

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.