Jimmy Kimmel has been a staple of late-night television for more than 20 years — but he’s not sure he’s done with it yet.
The “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” host, 55, said he was ready to step down from his duties as presenter. But when the Writer’s Strike failed earlier this year, he decided to stay on the air.
The comedian revealed why he’s changed his mind in the latest premiere episode of his Spotify limited podcast series Strike Force Fivealong with fellow late-night presenters Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Seth Meyers.
“I wanted to retire right at the time the strike started,” Kimmel said.
“And now I realize, oh yeah, it’s kind of nice to work. You know when you work you contemplate not working.”
Meyers, 49, then asked, “Come on, you’re the Tom Brady of the late night… you pretended to be retiring….” Shall we take your word for it?”
But “The Serious Goose” author remained steadfast: “I meant it, I meant it very, very seriously.”
He then joked that he likes to take a summer break every year and gets “paid” for it.
When the Hollywood strike began in May, all late-night shows had to be shut down.
Thousands of film and television writers have been picketing across New York and California since late spring to fight for pay rises.
In response to the strike, Kimmel and the rest of his talk show brothers created Strike Force Five.
“Last May, the hosts of five major late-night talk shows came up with an idea: to meet each week to discuss the complexities behind the ongoing strikes in Hollywood,” he said press release explained the idea of the radio program. “What followed was a series of hilarious and captivating conversations.”
Proceeds from the podcast go to the unemployed staff of the late night hosts. The series will have at least 12 episodes.
Just before the strike went into effect, Fallon, 48, described how much he loved writing for television on an episode of his talk show The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
“I love writing. I love writing for TV. I love writing this show,” said the Saturday Night Live graduate. “I love that every day we have an idea for what we want to do and can work on it all afternoon and then I have the pleasure of getting out of here.”
“No one is entitled to a job in show business,” he continued. “But if you have a job, you are entitled to reasonable remuneration. You have the right to make a living. I think it’s a very reasonable request being made by the guild. And I support these demands.”