Rihanna Appeared Uncomfortable When Jimmy Kimmel Almost Kissed Her During An Interview
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  • The near-kiss between Jimmy Kimmel and Rihanna during the Twizzler Challenge was cringe-worthy.
  • The Twizzler Challenge aimed to raise awareness and support for autism, similar to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.
  • Many celebrities, including J.J. Abrams and Rihanna, participated in the Twizzler Challenge.

Late-night shows are home for some of the memorable musical performances, tense interviews that led David Letterman’s guests to almost walk out on him, and games celebrities are willing to participate in for the sake of entertainment. These challenges don’t always end up on the positive side, as seen with Tom Cruise’s embarrassment after a misstep on Jimmy Fallon’s show.

But maybe one of the most cringe-worthy late-night antics of all time was the near-kiss moment between Jimmy Kimmel and Rihanna. While it may have been for a good cause, the Twizzler Challenge Fallon initiated left the audience squirming in their seats.

How Did Rihanna React To Jimmy Kimmel Almost Kissing Her?

In an April 2015 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Rihanna was invited by Kimmel to participate in the Twizzler Challenge. Kimmel initiated this to raise awareness and support a charitable cause for the New York Collaborates for Autism Organization since the United Nations has sanctioned April as World Autism Month.

The Things

Similar to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, this social media challenge aimed to generate donations and funds to further support the research and facilities that help families and those diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).


Robyn Rihanna Fenty

February 20, 1988

Bridgetown, St. Michael, Barbados

5′ 8″


Kimmel seized the opportunity to get Rihanna involved. He humorously explained that the spaghetti-eating scene from The Lady and the Tramp inspired the way they would do the challenge.


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As Kimmel and Rihanna slowly chewed opposite ends of a Twizzler, the atmosphere turned light-hearted when Rihanna playfully mentioned Kimmel’s wife. The near-kiss between them sparked laughter and applause after it initially generated squirming reactions from the audience. Overall, it seemed like Rihanna had good-natured fun participating in the charitable challenge.

Jimmy Kimmel

James Christian Kimmel

November 13, 1967

Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA



After doing the Twizzler Challenge, Kimmel nominated Star Wars director J.J. Abrams to take part with Chewbacca, while Rihanna challenged her co-star Jim Parsons and suggested Chewbacca or Kimmel’s wife Molly McNearney for the challenge.

Other Celebrities Who Participated In The Twizzler Challenge

After the success of the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge craze, the Twizzler Challenge emerged in 2015 as a new charitable sensation. This initiative was designed to raise awareness of autism throughout April, and it involved two individuals recreating the iconic Lady and the Tramp scene with a Twizzler instead of spaghetti.

The Things

2023 Autism Prevalence Rate via Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Racial/Ethnic Groups

Chance of Diagnosis

Asian or Pacific Islander








After Jimmy Kimmel and Rihanna set the stage for a fun approach to support the cause, Star Wars director J.J. Abrams did the Twizzler Challenge with none other than Chewbacca.

Celebrities Who Did The Twizzler Challenge Together:

  • Blake Shelton and Adam Levine
  • Willie Geist and Meredith Vieira
  • Kathie Lee Gifford and Matt Lauer
  • Lena Dunham and Allison Williams
  • Guillermo Diaz and Katie Lowes
  • Amanda Seyfried and Justin Long
  • Hoda Kotb and Flo Rida


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Abrams completed the task and playfully shared the unique challenges that come with sharing a Twizzler with a large, hairy creature. Abrams extended the challenge by nominating Jennifer Aniston and Guillermo Rodriguez to join the Twizzler Challenge.

Celebrities Who Did The Ice Bucket Challenge via TIME Magazine:

  • Former President Bush
  • Chris Pratt
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Chris Martin
  • Bill Gates
  • Katy Perry
  • Justin Bieber
  • Martha Stewart
  • LeBron James
  • Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor
  • Amy Schumer
  • Conan O’Brien
  • Jeff Bezos
  • Lady Gaga
  • Taylor Swift
  • Selena Gomez
  • Elizabeth Banks
  • Justin Timberlake

How Successful Were The Twizzler And Ice Bucket Challenge?

According to Autism Speaks, autism is the fastest-growing developmental disorder in the US, affecting one in 36 children in 2023 compared to its 2015 prevalence rate of 1 in 68. Advocacy efforts by prominent figures and celebrities, like the Ice Bucket Challenge and Twizzler Challenge, have helped support the nonprofit New York Collaborates for Autism.

Rihanna Fenty
The Things

Average Costs of Autism Services in the US per FAIR Health Inc.:

  • Adaptive Behavior – $82.25
  • Developmental Screening – $165.95
  • Emergency Department – $1,397.22
  • Physical Therapy – $74.99
  • Psychiatry – $253.40
  • Speech/Language Therapy – $174.80
  • Behavioral Therapy – $175.44

For the Twizzler Challenge, participants eat opposite ends of a Twizzler candy until they meet in the middle. The challenge is documented and shared on social media using the hashtag #TwizzlerChallenge. The irony of this advocacy for autism is that the act simulates the discomfort people with autism may feel as their personal space diminishes. This emphasizes the challenge they face in making eye contact during interactions which often leads to sensory overload.

Donations Received From The Twizzler Challenge:

  • $10,000 – Twizzler Executives
  • $5,000 – Meredith Vieira

Dr. William McMahon, Director of Autism Community Outreach at the University of Utah, believes that increased awareness about autism can lead to greater inclusion in social and recreational activities.

“One of the biggest misconceptions is that they don’t want friends and don’t feel social attachments. An important outcome would be more inclusion of individuals with autism in social and recreational activities… But it’s still a challenge. Autism is extremely variable. If you know one person with autism, you only know one person with autism.”

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, on the other hand, became a social media phenomenon before the Twizzler Challenge. Its advocacy campaign also involved celebrities and athletes, who participated by pouring ice water over their heads within 24 hours of being nominated.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Research Investment

ALS Area’s of Focus

Amount Granted

ALS Association Grantees (2014 -2018)

415.9 Million from NIH

Ice Bucket Challenge Contribution

$115 Million

ALS Research Projects

$305.7 Million

ALS Research Centers

$62.2 Million

Other Research-Related Projects

$29.2 Million

ALS Small Business Research and Technology

$17.3 Million

ALS Training

$1.4 Million


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The number of people who posted videos of the challenge on social media surpassed expectations and led to heightened awareness and substantial fundraising for ALS. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), formerly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a rare nervous system disorder affecting the nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movement.

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