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‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’

An Overview


Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel
Kevin Winter / Staff / Getty Images

Fast Facts

Title: Jimmy Kimmel Live!

Host: Jimmy Kimmel

Band Leader: Cleto Escobedo III

Band: Cleto and the Cletones

Announcer: Dicky Barrett, of the rock band the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

Personalities: Cousin Sal Iacono, Uncle Frank Potenza (Kimmel’s real-life uncle), Guillermo Rodriguez

Format: Traditional one-hour late night talk show format.

Broadcast information: Weeknights at 11:35 p.m.on ABC.

Tapes: Weekdays at 7 p.m. PT from the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, Calif.

Premiere Date: January 26, 2003


The longest running late night talk show on ABC since The Dick Cavett Show in the early 1970s, Jimmy Kimmel Live is ABC’s answer to Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show. By comparison, Kimmel’s humor targets a younger, male audience while David Letterman’s subdued humor attracts younger Baby Boomers and older Gen Xers and Jay Leno’s accessible style attracts just about everybody else.

Live began as a live program in its early days, though on broadcast delay, and was known for its low-brow humor – capturing the same audience Kimmel garnered while he was Comedy Central’s The Man Show and Win Ben Stein’s Money. No longer live, the show continues to push boundaries, most recently making headlines for its parody songs “I’m F****** Matt Damon” and “I’m F****** Ben Affleck,” both nominated for Emmy Awards and clearly outside Leno, Letterman and Conan O'Brien territory.

The show is also known for its variety of “special edition” episodes, including:

  • Directed by Quentin Tarantino, in which the Pulp Fiction director used his signature style to enhance the episode (jaunty camera angles and vintage costumes).
  • Directed by J.J. Abrams, the Lost creator, filled with action, intrigue and Lost star Dominic Monaghan.
  • Live! on a bus, in which the show broadcast from a moving bus.
  • Game Night Editions, in which half-hour versions of the show preceded the NBA Finals on ABC.
  • After the Academy Awards – Jimmy has hosted three of these, the latest featuring actors Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson.

Popular Segments:

Guillermo's Hollywood Round-Up: Real-life parking attendant Guillermo Rodriguez shares celebrity gossip while dressed as a cowboy.

This Week in Unnecessary Censorship: A comedy bit in which innocuous moments on popular television shows have bits of dialogue replaced with censorship “bleeps”. The “bleeps” suggest that the innocent scene is far less innocent.

How Is This News?: Kimmel runs a clip of a local news program in which journalists cover what seems to be a pointless story.

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