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Who is Jimmy Kimmel? A brief biography about the talk show host


Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel
Michael Kovac / Getty Images

Jimmy was Born ...:

... November 13, 1967, in Brooklyn, New York, as James Christian Kimmel to devoutly Catholic parents.

Growing Up with Jimmy:

Though born in New York, Jimmy was raised in Las Vegas. He was a fan of David Letterman and Late Night, as well as radio talk show host Howard Stern.

Jimmy's First Job:

Jimmy started in radio as a deejay in Phoenix, Ariz. His early career saw him land at several stations across the country, including those in Seattle, Wash.; Tampa Bay, Fla.; Palm Springs, Calif.; Tucson, Ariz.; and finally Los Angeles, where he was known as "Jimmy the Sports Guy" on KROQ's "Kevin and Bean" morning program.

The Early Years:

After a five year stint as "The Sports Guy," Jimmy jumped off broadcast airwaves and landed in cable television as co-host of Win Ben Stein's Money on Comedy Central. The Emmy-winning success of the game show led to a number of opportunities, including co-producing and co-creating the high-rated The Man Show and the wacky phony phone call puppet show Crank Yankers with friend Adam Carolla.

Becoming a Talk Show Host:

Cable success would lead to opportunities on a major network, ABC. The broadcast giant was looking for a late night program to follow Nightline and challenge Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. It turned to Kimmel to fill that hole with his unique style and large fan base. Jimmy Kimmel Live! debuted in January 2003 and has enjoyed slow, but steady, increases in ratings and viewership.

A Key Moment in His Career:

Winning an Emmy for his work on Win Ben Stein's Money. It underscored his comedic talent and penchant for tapping into the popular (male) zeitgeist. Success with The Man Show solidified that belief and Jimmy's star has been rising ever since.

What Does the Future Hold?:

The world's wide open for Kimmel, but an educated guess would be more producing. The man has a knack for making hit shows that target the young male demographic - and that's a demographic advertisers aren't going to abandon anytime soon.

And Just for Fun:

  • Jimmy's a father with two children.

  • He suffers from narcolepsy, a neurological condition that causes sleepiness and, occasionally, unexpected sleep.

  • Is a huge fan of Lost.

  • Is a former spelling bee champ.

  • Created quite a stir, and one of the most downloaded videos on YouTube, when he debuted his video "I'm ****ing Ben Affleck." The raunchy comedy video was in response to his girlfriend Sarah Silverman's music video "I'm ****ing Matt Damon." Damon and Affleck are known to be good friends.

  • A running gag on Kimmel is the "bumping" of Matt Damon. He's often said to be a guest, but, at the end of the show, Jimmy announces that they just don't have time for him.

    Celebrated his 1,000th show on April 3, 2008.

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