Jimmy Kimmel was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 13, 1967. In 1997, Kimmel made the leap from radio to television, as host of the game show Win Ben Stein's Money. Two years later, he established a production company called Jackhole Industries. Once he had several hit shows under his belt, ABC showed an interest in him as a potential late night host. Jimmy Kimmel Live! hit the air in 2003.
Television personality and comedian Jimmy Kimmel was born James Christian Kimmel in Brooklyn, New York, on November 13, 1967. When he was just 9 years old, Kimmel moved with parents Jim and Joan, and siblings Jonathan and Jill, to Las Vegas. The eldest of three, young Kimmel proved to be a meticulous artist and an excellent student, earning straight A's throughout high school. It was during his teenage years that Kimmel discovered his idol: David Letterman.
Kimmel's first real foray into performance was as a college radio disc jockey. After testing the airwaves at UNLV and Arizona State University, Kimmel began his professional radio career at age 21. Bouncing from market to market in cities like Seattle, Phoenix and Tucson, Kimmel eventually found a home at Los Angeles' famed KROQ, working as "Jimmy the Sports Guy" on The Kevin and Bean Show.
In 1997, Kimmel made the leap to television, debuting on the small screen as the host of Comedy Central's game show, Win Ben Stein's Money. Kimmel provided a comic counterpoint for the show's eponymous challenger. Stein and Kimmel won a 1999 Daytime Emmy for Best Game Show Host and a Daytime Emmy nomination in 2001.
'The Man Show'
Two years into his game show success, Kimmel, in cooperation with longtime friends Adam Carolla and Daniel Kellison, established a production company under the name Jackhole Industries. The trio began developing comedy shows through Jackhole, and pitching them to various networks. In 1999, the company pitched one of its projects, The Man Show, to Comedy Central. Billed as the "anti-Oprah," the half-hour comedy show glorified testosterone and featured beer chugging, models bouncing on trampolines, and unabashed toilet humor. Hitting new heights in puerile comedy, the show was a runaway success for the network and led to Kimmel's frequent appearances as a commentator on Fox NFL Sunday.
After their Man Show achievements, Kimmel and his company created the 2002 show, Crank Yankers, on Comedy Central. The show depicted puppets acting out previously recorded prank phone calls voiced by comic celebrities such as David Alan Grier, Dane Cook, Seth MacFarlane, Wanda Sykes, Sarah Silverman and even Kimmel's own children.
'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'
With several hit shows under his belt, ABC showed an interest in Kimmel as a potential late night host in the early 2000s. Jimmy Kimmel Live! debuted on January 26, 2003, to mediocre reviews. However, thousands of episodes later, Kimmel has earned the respect of A-list guests and beat out rival late-night talk shows in the ratings. Over the show's decade-long run, ABC has repeatedly extended Kimmel's contract due to his continued success as a host. In 2012, the network announced that it would move Jimmy Kimmel Live! to an earlier time slot to compete against NBC's The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
In September of 2013, Kimmel made a spoof of an interview that rapper Kanye West had with Britain's BBC on his show Jimmy Kimmel Live! In response, West released a tirade of tweets about Kimmel. Kimmel also announced that he spoke to West on the phone afterwards, with West saying that Kimmel's life would be much better if he apologized. Kimmel later brought the rapper on his late-night talk show, where the two resolved their very public Twitter war.
In addition to his late night duties, Kimmel hosted the primetime Emmy Awards in 2012, and again in 2016 to positive reviews. In 2017, he hosted the 89th Academy Awards.
Kimmel married his college sweetheart Gina Maddy in 1988. As Kimmel's show and career thrived, his marriage began to dissolve. In 2002, Gina filed for divorce, and Kimmel became closer to friend and Crank Yankers co-star Sarah Silverman. The two began dating shortly thereafter, making an alternately sweet and antagonistic team—one with an unusual penchant for sharing personal details in a highly public way.
Kimmel and Silverman briefly split in 2008, and after reuniting later that year, the couple broke up a second and final time in 2009. Shortly after the break-up, Kimmel made a TV appearance on The View. Asked why the relationship ended, he said, "What do you mean, what happened? Look at me. What do you think happened? I'm a 41-year-old man with a bra filled with Koosh balls. I'm an imbecile. She couldn't date an imbecile anymore." Kimmel and Silverman remain close friends.
That same year Kimmel began dating Molly McNearney, a co-head writer on Jimmy Kimmel Live! In August 2012, the couple announced their engagement and they married in July 2013. Kimmel and McNearney welcomed their first child together, daughter Jane, on July 10, 2014, and McNearney is expecting their second child. Kimmel has two children with his first wife Gina Maddy, a son Kevin and daughter Katherine.
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