Jimmy Kimmel

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Jimmy Kimmel
Kimmel at a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2013
Birth nameJames Christian Kimmel
Born(1967-11-13) November 13, 1967 (age 46)[1]
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
MediumStand-up, film, television, radio
Years active1989–present
GenresObservational comedy, black comedy, satire, deadpan
Subject(s)American politics, celebrities
InfluencesHoward Stern, David Letterman
InfluencedDane Cook
SpouseGina Kimmel (1988–2002; divorced; 2 children)
Molly McNearney (m. 2013)
Notable works and rolesCreator and Host of Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
Creator and Co-Host of The Man Show
co-host of Win Ben Stein's Money (Comedy Central)
co-host of Crank Yankers
Emmy Awards
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host: 1999 Win Ben Stein's Money
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Jimmy Kimmel
Kimmel at a ceremony to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2013
Birth nameJames Christian Kimmel
Born(1967-11-13) November 13, 1967 (age 46)[1]
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
MediumStand-up, film, television, radio
Years active1989–present
GenresObservational comedy, black comedy, satire, deadpan
Subject(s)American politics, celebrities
InfluencesHoward Stern, David Letterman
InfluencedDane Cook
SpouseGina Kimmel (1988–2002; divorced; 2 children)
Molly McNearney (m. 2013)
Notable works and rolesCreator and Host of Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
Creator and Co-Host of The Man Show
co-host of Win Ben Stein's Money (Comedy Central)
co-host of Crank Yankers
Emmy Awards
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host: 1999 Win Ben Stein's Money

James Christian "Jimmy" Kimmel (born November 13, 1967) is an American comedian, voice actor, actor, writer, producer, musician, television host, and radio personality. He is the host and creator of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, a late-night talk show that airs on ABC. Prior to that, Kimmel was best known as the co-host of Comedy Central's The Man Show and Win Ben Stein's Money. Kimmel is also a television producer, having produced shows such as Crank Yankers, Sports Show with Norm Macdonald, and The Andy Milonakis Show.

Early life[edit]

Kimmel was born in the Mill Basin neighborhood of the New York City borough of Brooklyn,[2] the eldest of three children of Joan Kimmel (née Iacono), a homemaker, and James Kimmel, an IBM executive.[3][4][5] He is Roman Catholic and, as a child, served as an altar boy.[6][7] Kimmel's mother is of Italian ancestry; two of his paternal great-great-grandparents, Theresa and Christian Kimmel, were German immigrants.[8][9] His uncle, Frank Potenza, appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! as a regular from 2003 until his death in 2011.[10] A cousin, Sal Iacono, performed Kimmel's former co-hosting duties during the last season of Win Ben Stein's Money and is now a writer and sketch performer on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

The family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, when he was nine years old.[3] He graduated from Ed W. Clark High School and then attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for one year before attending Arizona State University for two years without completing a degree.


Radio career[edit]

Kimmel began working in the radio industry while in high school, hosting a Sunday night interview show on UNLV's college station, KUNV. While attending Arizona State University, he became a popular caller to the KZZP-FM afternoon show hosted by radio personalities Mike Elliott and Kent Voss in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1989, Kimmel landed his first paying job alongside Voss as morning drive co-host of The Me and Him Show at KZOK-FM in Seattle, Washington.

Ten months later, Kimmel and Voss were fired by KZOK (for reasons unknown) and were fired again a year later at WRBQ-FM in Tampa, Florida. Kimmel went on to host his own show at KCMJ in Palm Springs, California, where Kimmel persuaded a young Carson Daly to drop out of college and become his intern. After a morning stint at KRQQ In Tucson, Arizona, Kimmel landed at KROQ-FM in Los Angeles. He spent five years as "Jimmy The Sports Guy" for the Kevin and Bean morning show. During this time he met and befriended a struggling comedian named Adam Carolla. [11]

Comedy Central[edit]

Kimmel began his television career as the comedic counterpart to Ben Stein on the game show Win Ben Stein's Money, which began airing on Comedy Central in 1997. His quick wit and loutish everyman personality were counterpoints to Stein's monotone performing style and patrician demeanor. The combination earned the pair an Emmy award for Best Game Show Host.[12] In 1999, during his time with Win Ben Stein's Money, Kimmel was also co-host with Adam Carolla and co-creator (with Daniel Kellison) of Comedy Central's The Man Show. Kimmel permanently left Win Ben Stein's Money in 2001 and was replaced by comedian Nancy Pimental, who was eventually replaced by Kimmel's cousin Sal Iacono. The Man Show's success allowed Kimmel, Carolla, and Kellison to create and produce, under the banner Jackhole Productions, Crank Yankers for Comedy Central (on which Kimmel plays the characters "Elmer Higgins", "Terrence Catheter", "The Nudge", "Karl Malone" and himself) and later The Andy Milonakis Show for MTV2. Kimmel also produced and co-wrote the feature film Windy City Heat, which won the Comedia Award for Best Film at the Montreal Comedy Festival. [13]

Jimmy Kimmel Live![edit]

Kimmel in September 2012

In January 2003, Kimmel permanently left The Man Show to host his own late-night talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, on ABC. Jimmy Kimmel Live was briefly also broadcast on Irish digital TV channel 3e.[14] In the April 2007 issue of Stuffmagazine.com, Kimmel was named the "biggest badass on TV". Kimmel said it was an honor but clearly a mistake.

Since the show's second season, it has not actually been broadcast live. The incident that led ABC to force the show to tape early was when Thomas Jane cursed repeatedly and the censors were unable to properly bleep censor it.

During an incident during the 2004 NBA Finals in Detroit, Kimmel appeared on ABC's halftime show to make an on-air plug for his show. He suggested that if the Detroit Pistons defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, "they're gonna burn the city of Detroit down ... and it's not worth it." Officials with Detroit's ABC affiliate, WXYZ-TV, immediately announced that that night's show would not air on the station. Hours later, ABC officials pulled that night's show from the entire network. Kimmel later apologized.[15]

Kimmel usually ends his show with "My apologies to Matt Damon, we ran out of time." When Matt Damon did actually appear on the show to be interviewed, he walked in and sat down only to be told just a few seconds later by Kimmel, "Sorry, but once again we are completely out of time." Damon seemed to become angry. In the December 17, 2006, issue of USA Weekend, Kimmel himself acknowledged that the Damon incident was a joke.

In February 2008 Kimmel showed a mock music video with a panoply of stars called "I'm Fucking Ben Affleck",[16] as "revenge" after his then-girlfriend Sarah Silverman and Matt Damon recorded a similar video, "I'm Fucking Matt Damon". Silverman's video originally aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and became an "instant YouTube sensation."[17] Kimmel's "revenge" video featured himself, Ben Affleck, and a large lineup of stars, particularly in scenes spoofing the 1985 "We Are the World" video: Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle, Cameron Diaz, Robin Williams, Harrison Ford, Dominic Monaghan, Benji Madden and Joel Madden from Good Charlotte, Lance Bass, Macy Gray, Josh Groban, Huey Lewis, Perry Farrell, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Pete Wentz, Meat Loaf, Rebecca Romijn, Christina Applegate, Dom Joly, Mike Shinoda, Lauren Conrad, and Joan Jett, among others. After this Jimmy's sidekick, Guillermo, appeared in a spoof of The Bourne Ultimatum, which starred Damon. He was then chased down by Damon as Matt cursed about Kimmel being behind all this. Guillermo also stopped Damon on the red carpet one time and before he could finish the interview he said, "Sorry we are out of time." The most recent encounter was titled "The Handsome Men's Club" which featured Kimmel, along with the "Handsome Men", who were: Matthew McConaughey, Rob Lowe, Lenny Kravitz, Patrick Dempsey, Sting, Keith Urban, John Krasinski, Ethan Hawke, Josh Hartnett, Tony Romo, Ted Danson, Taye Diggs, Gilles Marini, and Ben Affleck, speaking about being handsome and all the jobs that come with it. At the end of the skit Kimmel has a door slammed in his face by none other than Matt Damon, stating that they had run out of time and then Damon continues with a sinister laugh. Jennifer Garner also makes a surprise appearance.

As a tradition, celebrities voted off Dancing with the Stars appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, causing Kimmel to describe himself as "the three-headed dog the stars must pass on their way to No-Dancing Hell".[18] In the 2008 season of his show, Kimmel started another tradition of ceremonially burning the dancers' shoes after they were voted off DWTS.[citation needed]

In October 2013, a new segment of the show, Kids Table, showcased five and six year olds discussing the US government shutdown and US debts. When one of the children suggested "killing all the people in China", as a way of resolving the US debt, Jimmy Kimmel responded that that was "an interesting idea" and soon jokingly asked a follow up: “Should we allow the Chinese to live?”.[19] The incident triggered discussions and protests on Internet, even from Mainland China.[20] In an Oct. 25 letter to a group called the 80-20 Initiative, which identifies itself as a pan-Asian-American political organization, ABC apologized for the segment, saying "We would never purposefully broadcast anything to upset the Chinese community, Asian community, anyone of Chinese descent or any community at large."[19][21] More than 100 people took to the streets in San Francisco on October 28 to protest the show and demand "a more elaborate apology" and that Kimmel to be fired.[21] On the show that day, Kimmel addressed the controversy personally, saying: "I thought it was obvious that I didn’t agree with that statement, but apparently it wasn’t...So I just wanted to say, I’m sorry, I apologize.” [22] Despite the apologies from ABC and Kimmel, protests continued. A White House petition was created to investigate this incident and reached the 100,000 signatures needed to require a response from the White House.[23] In addition, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus denounced the incident and demanded a formal apology from ABC. [24]

Other television work[edit]

In spring 1996, Kimmel appeared as "Jimmy the Fox Guy" in promos on the Fox Network.

Kimmel's other television work included being the on-air football prognosticator for Fox NFL Sunday for four years. He has had numerous appearances on other talk shows including, but not limited to, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Howard Stern Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and the Late Show with David Letterman. Kimmel has appeared on The Late Show five times, most recently in 2010. Kimmel served as roastmaster for the New York Friars' Club Roast of Hugh Hefner and Comedy Central Roasts of Pamela Anderson. He has appeared on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, along with his parking lot security guard Guillermo.

In August 2006, ABC announced that Jimmy Kimmel would be the host of their new game show Set for Life.[25] The show debuted on July 20, 2007. On April 6, 2007, Kimmel filled in for Larry King on Larry King Live. That particular show was about the paparazzi and Kimmel reproached Emily Gould, an editor from Gawker.com, about the web site's alleged stalking of celebrities. On July 8, 2007, Kimmel managed the National League in the 2007 Taco Bell All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game in San Francisco. He played in the game in 2004 and 2006 (Houston and Pittsburgh). On July 11, 2007, Kimmel along with basketball player LeBron James, hosted the 2007 ESPY Awards. The show aired on ESPN on July 15, 2007. Kimmel hosted the American Music Awards on ABC five times, in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Kimmel guest hosted Live with Regis and Kelly during the week of October 22, 2007 – October 26, 2007, commuting every day between New York and Los Angeles. In the process, he broke the Guinness World Record for the longest distance (22,406 miles (36,059 km)) travelled in one work week.[26]

Kimmel has performed in several animated films, often voicing dogs. His voice appeared in Garfield and Road Trip, and he portrayed Death's Dog in the Family Guy episode "Mr. Saturday Knight"; Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane later presented Kimmel with a figurine of his character on Jimmy Kimmel Live!. Kimmel also did voice work for Robot Chicken. Kimmel's cousin "Sal" (Sal Iacono) has accepted and won a wrestling match with WWE superstar Santino Marella. On January 14, 2010, in the midst of the 2010 Tonight Show host and time slot conflict, Kimmel was the special guest of Jay Leno on The Jay Leno Show's "10 at 10" segment. Kimmel derided Leno in front of a live studio audience for taking back the 11:35 pm time slot from Conan O'Brien, and repeatedly insulted Leno. He ended the segment with a plea that Leno "leave our shows alone," as Kimmel and O'Brien had "kids" while Leno only had "cars".[27]

Kimmel also made a brief appearance in the TV commercial "There's A Soldier In All Of Us" promoting the 2010 video game Call of Duty: Black Ops, along with Kobe Bryant. He is seen taking cover from bullets, then firing an RPG-7 with the words PROUD N00b on it, with the aftershock from the weapon sending him tumbling backwards.

He hosted the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards which aired on September 23, 2012, marking his first time hosting the event.[28]

Kimmel hosted the White House Correspondents' Dinner in Washington, D.C. on April 28, 2012. In closing his remarks, Kimmel said, "I also want to thank Mr. Mills, my 10th grade high school history teacher, who said I'd never amount to anything if I kept screwing around in class. Mr. Mills, I'm about to high-five the President of the United States." Kimmel then high-fived Obama, returned to the podium, and concluded with, "Eat it, Mills."

Personal life[edit]

Kimmel and his first wife Gina married in June 1988 and separated in early 2002. They had 2 children, Katie (born 1991) and Kevin (born 1993). Kimmel dated comedian Sarah Silverman for 7 years, splitting with her in March 2009.[29] He started dating Molly McNearney, a co-head writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live, in October 2009.[30] Kimmel and McNearney became engaged in August 2012, and married in July 2013.[31][32][33]

Kimmel plays the bass clarinet. He got a chance to showcase his talent during a July 20, 2008, concert in Costa Mesa, California, featuring The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, when he took the stage and played bass clarinet on their hit song "The Impression That I Get."[34]

Kimmel has spoken publicly of being a narcoleptic.[35]

Kimmel and Adam Carolla co-founded the annual LA Feast of San Gennaro,[36] which celebrates Italian culture through entertainment, music, and cuisine. The festival also honors outstanding members of the Los Angeles community and raises funds to aid needy children and families in the city. He hosted Los Angeles's eighth annual feast of San Gennaro from September 28 to 30, 2009.[37] Kimmel served as Master of Ceremonies for the National Italian American Foundation's 34th Anniversary Gala in Washington, D.C., on October 24, 2009.


1997-2000Win Ben Stein's MoneyHimself (co-host)17 episodes
1999CharmedHost on TVEpisode: "The Painted World"
1999-2003The Man ShowVarious112 episodes
1999-2002Fox NFL SundayVariousN/A
2001Family GuyDeath's DogEpisode: "Mr. Saturday Knight"
2002-2005, 2007Crank YankersVarious voicesCreator, Executive Producer, Writer
2003-presentJimmy Kimmel Live!Himself (host)Creator, Executive Producer, Writer
2004American Music Awards of 2004Himself (host)TV Special
2005-2007The Andy Milonakis ShowHimselfCreator, Executive Producer, Writer
2005Comedy Central Roast of Pamela AndersonRoastmasterTV Special
2006American Music Awards of 2006Himself (host)TV Special
2006Robot ChickenBoss, Ryu, Lots of Laughs Bear2 episodes
2006Drawn TogetherOld Man, Mrs. Ham, Various voices2 episodes
2007Set for LifeHimself (host)7 episodes
2007Comedy Central Roast of Flavor FlavRoasterTV Special
2007The Sarah Silverman ProgramJoan the DispatcherEpisode: "Positively Negative"
20072007 ESPY AwardsHimself (host)TV Special
2007American Music Awards of 2007Himself (host)TV Special
2008American Music Awards of 2008Himself (host)TV Special
2010Glenn Martin DDSHimself (voice)Episode: "Camp"
2011Sesame StreetHimselfEpisode: "Siblings"
2012ScandalHimselfEpisode: "White Hat's Off"
2012White House Correspondents DinnerHimselfTV Special
2012The Burn with Jeff RossHimselfEpisode: "1.3"
201264th Primetime Emmy AwardsHimself (host)TV Special
2000Road TripCorky's Voice (voice)
2003Windy City HeatN/ACo-writer
2004Garfield: The MovieSpanky (unnamed in the film)Voice only
2005The AristocratsHimselfCameo
2008Hellboy II: The Golden ArmyHimselfCameo
2012Project XHimselfCameo
2013The Smurfs 2Passive Aggressive Smurf (voice)
2015The Smurfs 3Passive Aggressive Smurf (voice)
Video games
2012Call of Duty: Black Ops IIHimselfAppeared on his own talk show


Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Pat Sajak
Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Game Show Host
with Ben Stein
Succeeded by
Bob Barker and Tom Bergeron


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  6. ^ Nielsen (July 15, 2008). "Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman end 5-year romance". Reuters. Retrieved May 20, 2010. 
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  8. ^ "Catherine Bell on Jimmy Kimmel". YouTube. September 9, 2007. Retrieved July 19, 2010. [dead link]
  9. ^ Ancestry.com on Jimmy Kimmel Live, can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q41tYW5Gfds
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  11. ^ Carolla, Adam (2010). In 50 Years We'll All Be Chicks. Crown Archetype. ISBN 0307717372. 
  12. ^ "Awards for "Win Ben Stein's Money"". Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  13. ^ "Awards for "Windy City Heat"". IMDB. Retrieved 14 September 2012. 
  14. ^ "Who's News". USAWeekend.com. Retrieved September 1, 2007. [dead link]
  15. ^ Susman, Gary (June 11, 2004). "The Ban Show". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 2, 2009. 
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  17. ^ Jordan, Julie (February 2, 2008). "Behind Matt Damon's Raunchy Payback to Jimmy Kimmel". People. Retrieved February 25, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Jimmy Kimmel with DWTS Adam & Julianne Part 1". YouTube. Retrieved July 19, 2010. [dead link]
  19. ^ a b http://insidetv.ew.com/2013/10/28/jimmy-kimmel-live-china-joke-apology/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcFkRprHFuo.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  21. ^ a b http://entertainment.time.com/2013/10/28/kids-say-the-most-divisive-things-asian-americans-protest-jimmy-kimmel/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2013/10/29/abc-apologizes-for-kill-everyone-in-china-line-on-jimmy-kimmel-live/
  23. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/reliable-source/wp/2013/11/08/how-jimmy-kimmels-china-joke-became-an-issue-for-the-white-house/
  24. ^ http://capac-chu.house.gov/press-release/capac-issues-letter-racially-insensitive-kids-table-segment-jimmy-kimmel-live/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. ^ "Jimmy Kimmel Named Host For ABC's Newst Game Show, "Set For Life", From Endemol USA". Thefutoncritic.com. September 26, 2006. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  26. ^ "Inner Tube: Jimmy Kimmel goes distance, sets World Record". New York Daily News. October 29, 2007. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  27. ^ "kimmel > leno. again.". What Would Tyler Durden Do?. January 15, 2010. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
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  29. ^ Tan, Michelle (March 7, 2009). "Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel Call It Quits – Again". Retrieved March 20, 2009. 
  30. ^ Ingrassia, Lisa (October 10, 2009). "Move Over, Ben Affleck! Jimmy Kimmel's Got a New Squeeze – Couples, Jimmy Kimmel". People. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  31. ^ Rizzo, Monica (August 15, 2012). "Jimmy Kimmel Is Engaged to Molly McNearney". People. Retrieved August 15, 2012. 
  32. ^ Leonard, Elizabeth (2013-01-14). "Jimmy Kimmel, Molly McNearney Marry". People.com. Retrieved 2013-07-16. 
  33. ^ "Jimmy Kimmel marries Molly McNearney". USA Today. July 14, 2013. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  34. ^ Wener, Ben. "Dropkick Murphys, Mighty Mighty Bosstones win one for Boston at Pacific". Ocregister.com. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 
  35. ^ Carter, Bill (November 3, 2003). "In The Land Of The Insomniac The Narcoleptic Wants To Be King". New York Times. Retrieved December 11, 2009. 
  36. ^ "Italian Fest of San Gennaro Los Angeles". 
  37. ^ "Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Corolla Host the 6th Annual Precious Cheese Feast of San Gennaro". Lastheplace.com. September 21, 2007. Retrieved July 19, 2010. 

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