ABC late-night host returns to Brooklyn with his show
When his hometown beckons, Jimmy Kimmel has just the solution: He takes his show there.
For the fifth time, the ABC late-night host returns to Brooklyn, N.Y., for a week of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” episodes starting Monday, Oct. 21. The borough becomes a landscape for comedy bits – some undoubtedly featuring sidekick Guillermo Rodriguez — but Kimmel also will use his traditional New York base, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, for such basic elements as his nightly monologue and celebrity interviews.
“We love traveling,” Kimmel maintains. “It’s fun for us. As a staff, it’s very expensive, so there are a lot of places we would like to go that we’re unable to go to. But I’d love to go to Chicago. I’d love to go to Miami.”
The latest trip back East comes early in Kimmel’s new three-year deal to remain with ABC. He reflects, “I was seriously considering … I don’t know if you would say it was retirement, because I would always do something, but I don’t know that I would host anything. I really do like (the current ABC executives), and they came in with (an offer where) I felt appreciated, and that is important even if you have a job that people think of as glamorous.
“You still want to feel like your company is behind you, and I do,” adds Kimmel, “and that was a big part of it. Also, a lot of my relatives would be unemployed if I quit this job.”
Kimmel also has other ABC plans including — in December – another edition of the “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” franchise that restages episodes of classic Norman Lear sitcoms. The first recently earned an Emmy Award for outstanding variety special (live), making Kimmel’s fellow producer Lear the oldest Emmy winner in history.
Explaining why he spearheaded ”Studio Audience,” Kimmel says, “I’ve watched a lot of episodes of ‘All in the Family’ and of ‘The Jeffersons,’ and it seems like the rhythm of those shows was more like a play in that it wasn’t joke, joke, joke, joke. It was more of an evolution throughout the half-hour. Maybe the first five minutes of the show, there really weren’t any laughs … but by Minute 20, Archie Bunker had been worked up into such a lather.”
Kimmel also is developing, along with “Survivor” and “The Voice” producer Mark Burnett, an ABC game show called “Generation Gap.” One thing he won’t do, though, is run for office despite his tackling political and social issues on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” He muses, “I can’t believe anybody is completely serious” about his making such a bid. “I guess you just don’t know me that well.”