What’s perhaps the best thing about Jimmy Kimmel having a show is the way that he regularly involves young children in his different segments. Sometimes it’s simply because they say they funniest shit, but often it’s also because their perspectives and how they enjoy things make a lot of sense and Kimmel doesn’t object to hearing them explain anything. This week, the late-night host sat down with a group of kids who explained ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) — a new and bizarre way to enjoy sound.
Basically, ASMR is a very long way of describing the strange, tingling, and sometimes euphoric feeling that comes from being able to focus in on close range sounds. Those sounds could include fingers typing on a keyboard, a pen click, paint coming off of a paint roller onto a wall, or the semi-moist sound of potato chips crunching in your mouth. In the last year, ASMR accounts have become extremely popular online, with some YouTubers racking up millions of views and subscribers in the process.
“And this is relaxing to you?” Kimmel asked a table full of children. “Because I feel like I’m gonna freak out…I don’t feel the tingling sensation, I have a headache. ”
Needless to say, Kimmel’s first exposure to ASMR looked slightly uncomfortable. But, a lot like acupuncture, it’s really about weathering any discomfort and letting your body have a pure response to what happening.
“When I was a kid, we had like three, maybe four channels, and one channel no one wanted to watch. And we were forced to watch things,” Kimmel told the kids. “Now you guys have millions and millions of channels to choose from, and what you’ve chosen to watch is somebody putting a wig on a camera and brushing the camera’s hair.”
Still, Kimmel came around at the end. He told the kids He had some “old school ASMR,” and cracked his neck really loudly in both directions. It actually sounded a little painful, to be honest, but the kid’s eyes lit up and they clearly got a huge kick out of the sound.