James Christian Kimmel (born November 13, 1967) is an American television host, comedian, writer, and producer. He is the host and executive producer of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, a late-night talk show that premiered on ABC in 2003. Kimmel hosted the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2012 and 2016, and the Academy Awards in 2017, 2018 and now 2019.
Kimmel at Citi Field in 2015
|Birth name||James Christian Kimmel|
|Born||November 13, 1967|
New York City, U.S.
Before hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he was best known as the co-host of Comedy Central's The Man Show and Win Ben Stein's Money. Kimmel has also produced such shows as Crank Yankers, Sports Show with Norm Macdonald, and The Andy Milonakis Show.
Early life and family
Kimmel was born in Brooklyn, New York, and grew up in the neighborhood of Mill Basin as the eldest of three children of Joan (née Iacono), a homemaker, and James John Kimmel, who worked at American Express and was an IBM executive.
He is, and was raised, Catholic, and as a child was an altar server. Kimmel's mother is of Italian ancestry from Ischia, whose family migrated to the United States following the 1883 earthquake, while two of his paternal great-great-grandparents were German immigrants. His family's surname was "Kümmel" ("caraway" in German) several generations back.
The family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, when he was nine years old. He graduated from Ed W. Clark High School, and then attended University of Nevada, Las Vegas (for one year) and Arizona State University (for two years). He received an honorary degree from UNLV in 2013.
Kimmel's uncle, Frank Potenza ("Uncle Frank"), appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! as a regular from 2003 until his death in 2011. His cousin, Sal Iacono, performed Kimmel's former co-hosting duties during the last season of Win Ben Stein's Money and then became a writer and sketch performer on Jimmy Kimmel Live! His Aunt Chippy (Concetta Potenza) is also a featured part of the show. His brother, Jonathan, works on the show as a director. His sister, Jill, is a comedian. He has a son, Kevin, who works on the show as a production assistant. He has a daughter, Katie, who is a ceramics artist. He also has a daughter named Jane (born c. 2014) and a son named Billy (born 2017).
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 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 he 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.
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 "everyman" personality were counterpoints to Stein's monotonous vocal style and faux-patrician demeanor. The combination earned the pair an Emmy award for Best Game Show Host.
In 1999, during his time with Win Ben Stein's Money, Kimmel co-hosted (with Adam Carolla) and co-produced (with Daniel Kellison), Comedy Central's The Man Show. Kimmel 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, Festival Prize winner of the Comedia Award for Best Film at the 2004 Montreal Comedy Festival.
Jimmy Kimmel Live!
In January 2003, Jimmy Kimmel permanently left The Man Show to host his own late-night talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, on ABC. 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.
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.
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, "Unfortunately, we are totally out of time," followed by "my apologies to Matt Damon." Damon appeared angry but both performers have since indicated that their faux-feud is a joke.
In February 2008, Kimmel showed a mock music video with a panoply of stars called "I'm Fucking Ben Affleck", as "revenge" after his then-girlfriend Sarah Silverman and Damon recorded a similar video titled, "I'm Fucking Matt Damon". Silverman's video originally aired on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and became an "instant YouTube sensation." 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, who was cursing 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."
In October 2013, a new segment of the show, "Kids Table", showcased five- and six-year-olds discussing the U.S. government shutdown and U.S. debts. When one of the children suggested "killing all the people in China", as a way of resolving the U.S. debt, Kimmel responded that that was "an interesting idea" and soon jokingly asked a follow up: "Should we allow the Chinese to live?" The incident triggered discussions and protests on Internet, even from Mainland China. In an October 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."
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 be fired. On that day's broadcast, 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." 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. The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus denounced the incident and demanded a formal apology from ABC.
Other television work
In spring 1996, Kimmel appeared as "Jimmy the Fox Guy" in promos on the Fox Network. His 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.
He 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.
In August 2006, ABC announced that Jimmy Kimmel would be the host of their new game show Set for Life. The show debuted on July 20, 2007. On April 6, 2007, Kimmel filled in for Larry King on Larry King Live. That particular broadcast dealt with paparazzi. 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 (in Houston and Pittsburgh, respectively). 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 22–26, 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.
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 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."
In June 2018, Kimmel was challenged by senator Ted Cruz to a one-on-one basketball game after Kimmel compared Cruz's appearance to that of a blobfish. Kimmel accepted and the game (known as the Blobfish Basketball Classic) was scheduled to take place at Texas Southern University on June 16, and the loser will donate $5000 to the non-political charity of the winner's choice. Cruz defeated Kimmel 11-9, and over $80,000 was raised from the game and donated to the charities.
Kimmel's biggest influences in comedy are David Letterman and Howard Stern. Kimmel has described Letterman's work as, "His show was just so weird and different, I'd never seen anything like it. I didn't know anyone who had a sense of humor like that." Kimmel has often joked that the only reason he got into show business was just so he can be friends with Letterman, he has also questioned why anybody would watch his show instead of Letterman's. Kimmel wrote a piece for Time writing his love for Letterman by saying, "As I write this, there are only 10 shows left before the funniest, most inventive and smartest man who ever wore an Alka Seltzer suit goes fishing for good. None of us who discovered Dave on our own and claimed him as our own will ever be able to satisfactorily explain to the younger people who didn't what he did, what he meant and what he means. I guess it doesn't matter. It's only an exhibition, not a competition. Thanks Dave. For whatever it's worth, you're my favorite."
Kimmel married Gina Maddy in 1988; the couple divorced in 2002. They have a daughter, Katherine (born 1991), and a son, Kevin (born 1993). He had a relationship with comedian Sarah Silverman from 2002 until they broke up in March 2009.
He started dating Molly McNearney, a co-head writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live, in October 2009. Kimmel and McNearney became engaged in August 2012, and married in July 2013. On July 10, 2014, they had their first child, Jane.
Their second child, a son named William ("Billy") John, was born on April 21, 2017. The infant was born with a rare congenital heart defect, tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) with pulmonary atresia, which was first detected when he had a purplish appearance at three hours after birth. He underwent successful surgery at three days of age. The first guests Kimmel had when his show returned following his son's birth were cardiac surgeon Dr. Mehmet Oz, who explained the condition, and snowboarder Shaun White, who was born with TOF.
Kimmel plays the bass clarinet, and was a guest performer at a July 20, 2008, concert in Costa Mesa, California, featuring The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, performing with the group on the song "The Impression That I Get".
|2000||Down to You||Himself|
|2000||Road Trip||Corky's Voice (voice)|
|2002||Like Mike||Client in Commercial||Uncredited|
|2003||Windy City Heat||Himself||Also writer, producer|
|2004||Garfield: The Movie||Spanky (voice)||Unnamed in the film|
|2008||Hellboy II: The Golden Army||Himself||Cameo|
|2013||The Smurfs 2||Passive Aggressive Smurf (voice)|
|2015||Pitch Perfect 2||Himself||Cameo|
|2015||Miss Famous||Mr. Chipmunk||Short film|
|2017||The Boss Baby||Ted Templeton (voice)|
|2017||The Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards||Lunchtime creeper in park|
|2018||Teen Titans Go! To the Movies||Batman (voice)|
|1997–2000||Win Ben Stein's Money||Himself (co-host)||19 episodes|
|1999||Charmed||Host on TV||Episode: "The Painted World"|
|1999–2003||The Man Show||Himself (co-host)||112 episodes; also co-creator, writer|
|2001||Family Guy||Death's Dog (voice)||Episode: "Mr. Saturday Knight"|
|2002||MADtv||Himself, Jay Mattioli||Episode: "7.16"|
|2002–05, 2007||Crank Yankers||Various voices||70 episodes; also creator, executive producer, writer|
|2003–present||Jimmy Kimmel Live!||Himself (host)||Also creator, executive producer, writer|
|2003||I'm with Her||Himself||Episode: "The Second Date"|
|2003||American Music Awards of 2003||Himself (host)||TV Special|
|2004||Entourage||Himself||Episode: "Talk Show"|
|2004||American Music Awards of 2004||Himself (host)||TV Special|
|2005–07||The Andy Milonakis Show||Himself||22 episodes; also co-creator, executive producer, writer|
|2005||Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson||Himself (host)||TV Special|
|2006||American Music Awards of 2006||Himself (host)||TV Special|
|2006||Robot Chicken||Boss, Ryu, Lots of Laughs Bear (voice)||2 episodes|
|2006||Drawn Together||Old Man, Mrs. Ham, Various voices||2 episodes|
|2007||Set for Life||Himself (host)||7 episodes|
|2007||Comedy Central Roast of Flavor Flav||Himself (roaster)||TV Special|
|2007||The Sarah Silverman Program||Joan the Dispatcher||Episode: "Positively Negative"|
|2007||2007 ESPY Awards||Himself (host)||TV Special|
|2007||American Music Awards of 2007||Himself (host)||TV Special|
|2008||American Music Awards of 2008||Himself (host)||TV Special|
|2008||Jimmy Kimmel's Big Night of Stars||Himself (host)||TV Special|
|2010||Glenn Martin, DDS||Himself (voice)||Episode: "Camp"|
|2011||Sesame Street||Himself||Episode: "Siblings"|
|2011||Hot in Cleveland||Himself||Episode: "I Love Lucci (Part 1)"|
|2011||The Soup||Joel McHale||Episode: "8.72"|
|2012||White House Correspondents' Dinner||Himself (host)||TV Special|
|2012||64th Primetime Emmy Awards||Himself (host)||TV Special|
|2013||Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!||Himself||Episode: "Brody Stevens, Who Are You?"|
|2014||Tim & Eric's Bedtime Stories||Himself||Episode: "The Endorsement"|
|2014||The Middle||Himself||Episode: "The Table"|
|2014||Shark Tank||Himself||Episode: "Oilerie USA"|
|2015||The Bachelor||Himself (host)||Episode: "19.3"|
|2015||The Eric Andre Show||Himself||Episode 3.08|
|2016||The Grinder||Himself||Episode: "The Olyphant in the Room"|
|2016||The Real O'Neals||Himself||Episode: "The Real Papaya"|
|2016||Trailer Park Boys||Himself||Episode: "All The Fuckin' Dope You Can Smoke!"|
|2016||Pitch||Himself||Episode: "The Interim"|
|2016||68th Primetime Emmy Awards||Himself (host)||TV Special|
|2017||89th Academy Awards||Himself (host)||TV Special|
|2017||Curb Your Enthusiasm||Himself||Episode: "Foisted!"|
|2018||90th Academy Awards||Himself (host)||TV Special|
|2019||91st Academy Awards||Himself (host)||TV Special|
As executive producer
|2003||Gerhard Reinke's Wanderlust||6 episodes|
|2005||The Adam Carolla Project||13 episodes|
|2011||Sports Show with Norm Macdonald||9 episodes|
|2017||Big Fan||4 episodes|
|2012||Call of Duty: Black Ops II||Himself||Appeared on his own talk show|
Awards and nominations
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Jimmy Kimmel, was born on November 13, 1967, in Brooklyn, NY to devoutly Catholic parents who made sure that Kimmel served as an altar boy, ...
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- "Jimmy Kimmel to Host 2016 Emmy Awards". Variety. March 7, 2016. Retrieved March 25, 2016.
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- CNN, Donald Judd,. "Cruz, Kimmel to face off in one-on-one basketball game to benefit charity". cnn.com.
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- "YouTube". www.youtube.com.
- Daniel Poitras (March 23, 2017). "LATE SHOW with David Letterman - November 1, 1999 - Jimmy Kimmel (PARTIAL SHOW)" – via YouTube.
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Gina would give birth to the couple's first child, Katie, four years [after the couple's 1988 marriage]; a son, Kevin, followed in 1993.
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- Glee, Katy Perry Lead People's Choice Award Nominations, 2 Broke Girls' Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs to Host E! Online, Retrieved November 5, 2013.
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