Noah Blake called out Jimmy Kimmel for cracking a joke during Sunday’s Oscars ceremony about his late father, the actor Robert Blake, who went from winning an Emmy for his role in the ’70s cop show “Baretta” to being acquitted in the killing of his second wife, Bonny Lee Bakley.
Noah Blake said the gag about his father, who died from heart disease at age 89 three days before the 2023 Academy Awards show, was “not funny.” He said it “landed like a thud” and was “kind of confusing.”
“Two, three days after someone passes away … might not be the greatest time to make a so-so joke at their expense,” the younger Blake told TMZ this week.
Announcing the annual “In Memoriam” segment, host Kimmel joked: “Everybody please get out your phones, even at home, it’s time to vote. If you think Robert Blake should be part of the ‘In Memoriam’ montage, text ‘Gimme-A-Blake’ to the number on your screen, or to any number.”
Robert Blake did not feature among the tributes.
Noah Blake, one of two children the actor shared with first wife Sondra Kerr, said: “I think it was just handled poorly all the way around. I think the whole ‘In Memoriam’ was just botched and bungled really, really badly.”
“Not just from the standpoint of my father… but there were “a lot of other people who contributed a lot in their lives who were left out of that list,” he added. “It’s just entirely wrong.”
Noah Blake acknowledged “people are entitled to their opinions” including about his father. But “your opinion about someone, personally, really, should be independent from the work that they do,” he argued. “I think Jimmy’s a really funny guy … but he didn’t even seem to feel comfortable telling that joke.”