Jimmy Kimmel Live
“It's funny how all of this has worked out. I wasn't popular in high school, but now every drunken guy in the United States wants to be my pal. They all want to buy me a shot, and pretty soon I'm throwing up.” Jimmy Kimmel
An American talk show host, comedian, writer, game show host and producer whose trademark is his Karl Malone impersonation, Jimmy Kimmel began his career in the radio industry before hitting it big time on television as the co-host of the popular Comedy Central game show “Win Ben Stein's Money” (1997-2002), from which he jointly picked up a 1999 Daytime Emmy Award. He gained further popularity as one half of the testosterone-fueled hosting team of Comedy Central's “The Man Show” (1999-2003), along with Adam Carolla. Currently, Kimmel enjoys success in late night talk shows with his popular ABC offering, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (2003 - present). He took home a 2005 People's Choice nomination for his bright effort in the show.
Along with Carolla and Daniel Kellison, Kimmel founded Jackhole Industries, which backs most of the projects he is involved with. In 2002, the company launched the animated comedy series “Crank Yankers,” where Kimmel served as executive producer and provided his voice to many of the show's characters. His voice can also be heard as Corky the Dog on 2000's Road Trip and Spanky in 2004's Garfield: The Movie, among others.
As for his personal life, Kimmel is divorced from his wife of 15 years, Gina Kimmel (together from 1988 to 2003), with whom he has two children, Katherine and Kevin. As of 2003, he is dating comedienne Sarah Silverman. Kimmel suffers from narcolepsy, but keeps it under control with medicine. More recently, on June 20, 2007, he underwent a successful emergency appendectomy.
Childhood and Family:
James Christian Kimmel, who would later be famous as Jimmy Kimmel, was born on November 13, 1967, in Brooklyn, New York, to parents of Italian and German lineage. The family relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada, when he was nine. It was while growing up in the gambling capital of the world that the future comedian developed an interest for comedy. During that period, he idolized David Letterman, Woody Allen and John Belushi and wanted to be part of the entertainment industry. After graduating from Ed W. Clark High School, Jimmy enrolled at the University of Nevada, in Las Vegas, for one year and then at Arizona State University for two years. He, however, never earned a degree.
Jimmy was married to Gina Kimmel from June 1988 until their divorce on June 16, 2003. They have a daughter, Katherine Katie Kimme (born in 1991) and a son, Kevin Kimmel (born in 1993). Jimmy has a sister named Jill and a brother named Jon (born in 1976). Jon is a writer and actor. His cousin, Sal Iacono, is the writer of “The Man Show.”
The Man Show
Brooklyn-born, Las Vegas-raised Jimmy Kimmel got his first taste of show business in the radio industry. While still in high school, he hosted a Sunday night interview show on UNLV's college station KUNV. Later, while attending Arizona State University, he became a well-liked caller to the KZZP-FM afternoon show hosted by radio personalities Kent Voss and Mike Elliott in Phoenix, Arizona. However, Kimmel did not get his first professional gig until he was 22 when he was hired by KZOK-FM in Seattle, Washington, and co-hosted The Me and Him Show. They (Jimmy and Voss) were fired two months later, probably because of edgy humor that had gone to far. Kimmel and Voss were fired once again from WRBQ-FM in Tampa, Florida. After this, Kimmel hosted his own show at KCMJ-FM in Palm Springs, California, and rejoined Mike Elliott at 93.7 KRQ in Tucson. After being fired from KRQ, he served as a sports guy/comedy writer for the popular Kevin and Bean morning show at KROQ-FM in Los Angeles, during which time he became known as “Jimmy the Sports Guy.” Thanks to his humor, his character received more and more airplay. It was while working at the station that Kimmel met Adam Carolla, with whom he co-hosted the KROQ well-liked “Loveline” sex advice program.
Kimmel's success on radio attracted the attention of executives at Comedy Central who then invited Kimmel to be the audience's link on Comedy Central's new game show, “Win Ben Stein's Money” (1997-2002), which centered around the brilliant titular actor and former speech writer, Ben Stein. An extraordinary show, where the host was pitted against contestants at the end of the show, “Win Ben Stein's Money” was a massive hit thanks to Kimmel's “average Joe” image and fast-on-his-feet comic artistry, and won Kimmel a 1999 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game Show Host, shared with Stein. A certified Comedy Central hook, Kimmel was tapped to host other shows for the network, including the movie specials Canned Ham: Deconstructing Harry (1997) and Canned Ham: Senseless (1998).
With his TV career on the rise, Kimmel decided to leave KROQ in 1999 after a respectable five-year stint and focused his interest on TV. Later that same year, he and former KROQ personality Adam Carolla reunited for the Comedy Central variety show “The Man Show” (1999-2003), which they created, wrote and hosted. A talk show devoted to all things male, the program became an immediate hit and won over an ample audience. Boosted by the success, Kimmel and Carolla emerged as some of the coolest guys on TV.
Riding high on the show's victory, Kimmel started doing segments for the Fox Sports West pre-game shows, “Jimmy's Picks,” where he often picked on ex-football stars Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long. Kimmel's picks launched the comic as the No. 1 sports forecaster on television. On the other hand, his continuant ridiculing of the hosts placed him in predicament with the other sportscasters. Kimmel also provided the voice of Corky the Dog for the 2000 animated movie Road Trip, directed by Todd Phillips.
In 2002, Kimmel tried his hand at producing and with his Jackhole Industries production partners Carolla and Daniel Kellison, released the animated primetime comedy “Crank Yankers” (2002-present), which features comedians making prank calls (delivered though the use of puppets) to real people. In addition to serving as one of the show's executive producers, Kimmel also lent his vocals to several of the “Crank Yankers” characters. 2002 also found Kimmel appearing in front of the camera as an actor in the Lil' Bow Wow vehicle Like Mike.
Kimmel's success on the small screen was furthered established the following year when ABC hired him to host his own late-night TV show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (2003-present). Premiering on January 26, 2003, the show competed with David Letterman and Jay Leno. However, instead of appearing as razor-sharp as Letterman or as slick as Jay Leno, Kimmel soon found his own persona as an everyman with jokes. In 2005, he was handed a People's Choice nomination for Favorite Late Night Talk Show Host.
Outside of his hosting and writing duties on “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Kimmel also kept busy pursuing other projects. He hosted the ABC American Music Awards in 2003 and 2004, executive produced shows for old buddy Carolla on “The Adam Carolla Project” (TLC, 2005 ), and worked on “The Andy Milonakis Show” (MTV, 2005-2006). He also did some voice-overs and provided the voice for Spanky in Garfield: The Movie (2004) and Terrence in the TV film Eminem's Making the Ass (2005).
Daytime Emmy: Outstanding Game Show Host, “Win Ben Stein's Money,” 1999 (shared with Ben Stein)