Jimmy Kimmel is a renowned late-night talk show host known for his charm, wit, and the A-list guests he features on his show. As the host of Jimmy Kimmel Live! On ABC, Jimmy has been serving comedy to television viewers for years which played a pivotal role in launching him into mainstream fame and enabled him to acquire significant wealth.
Although the TV host is currently enjoying a thriving career, the early days of his career were much more humble. Before getting his Jimmy Kimmel Live! show, he had several appearances and made sketches on Comedy Central. Through his platform, he has managed to present celebrities in ways that show they are human regardless of their status while tackling important topics. He is also known for having several gigs as a radio presenter prior to appearing on Comedy Central.
Jimmy Kimmel First Gained A Lot Of Exposure On Radio
Jimmy Kimmel’s career in showbiz can be traced back to when he was still a student at Ed W. Clark High School working on the school’s radio station. When he later got admitted into the University of Nevada he decided to continue the work he had been doing on the radio as a teenager. At his college radio station, he hosted a show every Sunday night. From the University of Nevada, he transferred to Arizona State University where he took on a different twist in his radio career. What Kimmel did was to call the KZZO-FM afternoon show often, he then became a popular caller on that show.
His professional radio career eventually started in 1989 on the KZOK-FM morning drive show when Kent Voss – one of the hosts he used to call when he was at Arizona State University – offered him a chance to co-host with him. They became notorious for the stunts they pulled while on air. However, one of the negative results of this was losing $8,0000 in advertising because of their stunts which led to them getting fired. They then got hired by a Florida based station, WRBQ, but a year later, they got fired again.
Jimmy would go on to create his own show at KCMJ in California which was followed with a morning show at KRQQ in Arizona. This eventually led to finding a stable place on the Los Angeles radio station KROQ-FM as ‘Jimmy the Sports Guy’ on The Kevin and Bean Show.
His Television Success Is Credited To His Appearance On Comedy Central
Kimmel’s debut on television was as the host of the Comedy Central game show, Win Ben Stein’s Money. Prior to this, television show producers had been reaching out to him to work with him but he declined all offers until 1997. On Win Ben Stein’s Money, Kimmel’s comedic persona served as a counterpoint for his co-host’s intentionally monotonous demeanor, making them a good fit.
Together, Jimmy Kimmel and Ben Stein won a 1999 Daytime Emmy Award for Best Game Show Host and got a Daytime Emmy nomination in 2001. He then went on to co-host and co-produce The Man Show, another Comedy Central program. The success from The Man Show enabled Kimmel to start a production company called Jackhole Productions alongside his co-host Adam Carolla and co-producer Daniel Kellison.
‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ Made Him A Very Popular Public Figure
With a good number of successful shows under his belt, Kimmel started to get noticed by big network executives, including ABC’s executives. He eventually made a deal with the network and in 2003, he left The Man Show to begin hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC. Despite the fact that the show has “live” in its name, it has not aired live since 2004. Jimmy’s show is also popular for the faux feud he has with the actor, Matt Damon.
Over the years, Jimmy has featured a good number of celebrities and spoken on a wide range of topics as long as they were relevant. However, the talk host show has also been the target of criticism, particularly in 2013 when he jocularly asked if the Chinese should be allowed to live. There were calls for him to get fired but he and the network released formal apologies in response.
Jimmy Kimmel’s Other Endeavours Have Also Made Him Very Rich
The scope of the work Jimmy Kimmel does extends beyond Jimmy Kimmel Live! as he has been on The Late Show with David Letterman a number of times, as well as other talk shows. He has also hosted Set for Life, a game show, and has lent his voice to animated productions. More so, in 2019, the multifaceted media personality published his first book titled, ‘The Serious Goose’ which is an interactive book for children.
All these have, over the years, contributed massively to his estimated net worth of $35 million. It was gathered that his contract with ABC for Jimmy Kimmel Live! fetches him up to $15 million yearly.
The TV Host Loves To Spend His Money On Houses & Gifts
Jimmy Kimmel is known to have an array of houses. In 2018, he bought an estate in Los Angeles for $8 million. The house he currently lives in with his family was bought by the TV host in 2008 for $6 million. In 2014, the talk show host sold one of his houses for $2.1 million; he had bought the house in 2002 for $925,000. The property possessed a certain charm that was reminiscent of the year it was built in – 1947.
Houses are not the only way he spends his money; he is also notorious for his philanthropy. He is known to bestow gifts on members of his staff, as surprises. In 2020, Kimmel and fellow celebrity, Jennifer Aniston gave a nurse who had contacted COVID-19 a $10,000 gift certificate from Postmates.
His First Marriage Ended In The Early 2000s
In 1988, Jimmy Kimmel married his high school sweetheart, Gina Maddy. Together, they have two children — Katherine, who was born in 1991, and Kevin, who was born in 1993. However, as Kimmel’s career blossomed, the marriage began to deteriorate. In 2002, Gina Maddy filed for divorce but the grounds for the divorce are unknown.
Maddy used to work as an actress and had minor appearances in several films. Despite her earlier marriage to Jimmy Kimmel, there is still not a lot of information available about her.
His children — Katherine and Kevin Kimmel — also work in entertainment; Katherine is an actress while Kevin works on the sets of television show productions in different capacities.
Jimmy Kimmel Is Currently Married To One Of The Writers On His Show
In October 2009, Kimmel began a relationship with Molly McNearney, a co-head writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live! Molly joined the show as a writer’s assistant then she worked her way to the top, becoming a co-head writer. The first time the two of them met, they spoke maybe once a year, especially as he was her boss, but as co-head writer, they spent more time together and formed a friendship.
They maintained a steady relationship for the next couple of years before announcing their engagement in August 2012. By July the next year, the pair exchanged wedding vows.
His Son With Molly Was Born With A Heart Defect
The beautiful couple currently has two children — a daughter and a son. Their daughter, Jane Kimmel, was born on the 10th of July 2014. Their son, William ‘Billy’ Kimmel, followed several years later on the 21st of April 2017. However, little William was born with a heart defect known as tetralogy of fallout with pulmonary Artesia. He had to undergo open-heart surgery three hours after his birth.
A couple of months later, on the 4th of December 2017, ABC announced that baby Billy had undergone another heart surgery, and Jimmy Kimmel was given time off during the period to be with his family. A week later on the 11th of December, the comedian returned to the show with his son in his hands, telling the audience his son was “doing great” a week after the surgery.
More so, he used the opportunity to thank the doctors at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles for doing their best, while operating on his son, to keep him alive. To also sensitize the public on what his son went through, he had a cardiac surgeon – Mehmet Oz, and Shaun White – a Snowboarder born with the same heart disease, on his show as guests. Thankfully, William is out of danger and seems to be living in perfect health.