LOS ANGELES – Jimmy Kimmel celebrated his 20th anniversary as ABC’s late-night host early, signing a three-year contract extension for “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
“After two decades at ABC, I am now looking forward to three years of what they call ‘quiet quitting,’” Kimmel quipped in a statement Tuesday.
His show debuted in January 2003, and the new deal means he will remain with it into the 2025-26 season — giving him a generous window to make comedic hay out of politicians, who are favorite monologue targets, and the 2024 presidential election.
Among network late-night hosts, Kimmel, CBS’ Stephen Colbert and James Corden and NBC’s Seth Meyers wade regularly into political humor, with Kimmel amping up the focus during the Donald Trump years inside and outside of the White House.
Kimmel’s decision contrasts with changes in late-night programming. Conan O’Brien wrapped his show in 2021, Corden announced that he’s leaving “The Late Late Show” next year for other opportunities, and TBS said that “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” was ending after seven seasons.
Besides his late-night job, Kimmel has become a mainstay as an awards hosts — including for 2017 Oscars when he tried to smooth over the best picture envelopw mix-up that led presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway to wrongly announce “La La Land” as the winner over “Moonlight.”
The three-time Emmys host had a misstep of his own at the Sept. 12 TV awards ceremony, during the presentation of the comedy series writing trophy to Quinta Brunson, creator-star of ABC’s comedy “Abbott Elementary.”
A pretend-drunk Kimmel had been dragged on stage by co-presenter Will Arnett, who announced Brunson’s award, and Kimmel remained flat on his back during her acceptance speech. He was roasted online as thoughtless by some and cited as an example of white-male arrogance by others, and offered an on-air apology to Brunson two days later on his show.
“The last thing I would ever want to do is upset you, because I think so much of you. I think you know that. I hope you know that,” he told her, with Brunson replying, “It’s very kind of you to say that.”
Kimmel also hosts and, with Norman Lear, is executive producer of ABC’s specials “Live in Front of a Studio Audience,” which revisit episodes of classic Lear sitcoms including “All in the Family.” Kimmel also is the creator of the game show, “Generation Gap,” hosted by Kelly Ripa.
He’ll be taking his late-night show, nominated 12 consecutive times for best variety-talk series, to Brooklyn for a week this month. Kimmel, whose long-time sidekick is Guillermo Rodriguez, is known for comedy bits including “I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy,” which are seen on the show and on the YouTube channel that has extended his audience.
Craig Erwich, president of ABC Entertainment, said in a statement that Kimmel has not only entertained viewers with his irreverent humor and interviews but also “gotten us through some of the most momentous events in our history with optimism and heart.”
The host has shared moving details about his young son’s medical issue and called for health care reforms.