I didn’t get too excited when I heard that Michel Gondry would be directing an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! After all, how much of a personal stamp could Gondry, who’s known for the visual whimsy of films such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep, add to a late night talk show?

Actually, a lot.

Sure, the whole thing is one long commercial for The Green Hornet, which just hit theaters this weekend. But this episode is freaking bananas. Time starts, stops, repeats, and goes in reverse. Kimmel receives a call from himself during the monologue. Jay Chou makes an strange appearance on the streets of Hollywood. And I haven’t even gotten to the insane props that were used for this episode yet. I don’t want to spoil any more; instead, you should just watch it for yourself below.

The whole time I was watching this, I was thinking, “THIS is the Michel Gondry we all fell in love with!” And with only a few momentary exceptions, it’s the Michel Gondry who was largely absent from The Green Hornet, which appears to have been creatively influenced far more significantly by writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, as well as Fast and Furious producer Neal Moritz. It’s almost as if Gondry knew that Hornet wouldn’t allow him an opportunity to flex his usual visual muscles, so he chose Jimmy Kimmel Live! as the vehicle through which to lead us into a surrealist nightmare.

For a taste of the madness, here is the monologue from Thursday night’s show. To watch the entire episode, which is well worth watching through to the end, you can check it out on Hulu (Sorry, only if Hulu is available where you are).

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