The start of a new year is always exciting for everyone, but it is especially sentimental for late night host Jimmy Kimmel, who has been on air now for two decades. ABC is celebrating 20 years of Jimmy Kimmel Live, which officially makes Kimmel the longest serving late-night host in the industry. While many congratulated Kimmel on his long-term success, there is one late night host who went above and beyond to support him, and it just so happened to be his name twin. Jimmy Fallon, host of The Tonight Show, sent an ice cream truck to Kimmel’s studio with a note taped on the window that read: “Congrats on 20 years! Honored to be the ‘other’ Jimmy.” Soon after, Kimmel took to his social media accounts, thanking his friend and fellow late night host for the ice cream.
For the 20th anniversary episode, we are going back to 2003 to when the first episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live aired. Kimmel decided that in order to celebrate properly, they had to invite back the same guest stars. Special guests Snoop Dog, George Clooney, and the lead singer of Coldplay, Chris Martin, were all featured on the special anniversary episode, which took place on Jan. 26. During Kimmel’s opening monologue he said, “very few people expected us to make it this far, but we did.” He then added, “I made a great deal with the devil.”
Jimmy Kimmel has always been known for his sense of humor, so this anniversary episode was no different as the crowd continuously erupted with laughter throughout the prime-time special. When discussing how long the show has been on air, Kimmel gave viewers a visual by saying “When we started, there were no iPhones. There was no YouTube, there was no Uber, no Twitter, no Wi-Fi, no Netflix, no Google. We had Nokias and Ask Jeeves, and that was it. We’ve been through two wars, a worldwide pandemic, four presidents, one insurrection, at least three different Kanyes.” During the episode, Kimmel showed his immense gratitude for everyone’s support over the years and listed off many people to whom he owes thanks, such as his producers, band, announcers, friends, and family. He also mentioned that there have been around 3,588 episodes and that if you were to play all of them back-to-back, it would take 150 days.
In addition to this major accomplishment, Kimmel’s team recently revealed more good news for fans of the show. Back in September of 2022, ABC announced that he would re-sign his contract for another three years. After renewing the deal, though, Kimmel said in a press announcement, “After two decades at ABC, I am now looking forward to what they call ‘quiet quitting.’” Eventually, we will have to say goodbye to Jimmy Kimmel Live, but have no fear, it won’t be for at least a few more years.