Icon: Jimmy Kimmel
The funniest man in late night on the joy of Zac Efron and the agony of chili bowls.
We suppose we should start by saying congrats on your show’s Emmy nomination for Outstanding Short-Form Picture Editing.
They say that’s the most glamorous of all the Emmys. I’m hoping that if ¿we win, the guys in the edit bay will ¿let me look at it.
You had an amazingly funny year. We say you were robbed in the Variety, Music, and Comedy Series categories. Do you agree?
I look at it this way: If David Letterman didn’t get nominated for an Emmy, I have no right to complain. It is kind of amazing that there’s a category for Best Reality Show Host and no category for Best Talk Show Host. Heidi Klum says 14 words per episode and seems to get nominated every year.
Saturday Night Live got nominated and gets a few good laughs, but you’re doing it every night, damn it!
Well, they were smart enough to use Betty White as bait. We got on the Betty White bandwagon way too late, so I’ve been focusing now on Rue McClanahan, but I think she might have passed away.
You seem to be delighted by crazy people. Anyone on your staff who is particularly entertaining?
One of our writers, Rick Rosner. ¿Every day the writers send their jokes, and this fucking lunatic e-mails me this: “I was excited to have my hemorrhoids removed over the break, but the doctor says the’re too large to even be called hemorrhoids and too large to amputate with a rubber band. He’d have to disconnect my bunghole, cut off ¿a couple of inches of pre-bunghole, and reattach my sphincter to the new stump, so forget it. I did, however, score some ass steroids.”
Your job is to skewer what’s going on in pop culture. What is it like when you find yourself being written about in the National Enquirer?
I don’t like it. [laughs] The Enquirer being considered for a Pulitzer Prize is like, “All right, you got one out ¿of 30 stories correct this year. You should get an award for this?” I think they put that the reason Sarah [Silverman] and I broke up was ¿that Adam Sandler was hanging around my house too much. Adam Sandler has never even been to my house. He’s a very nice guy, but I haven’t spent more than an hour, total, in my life talking to him. I ¿mean, I would, of course, choose Adam Sandler over any woman.
What’s the gayest thing you and Adam Carolla have done together?
Oh, that’s easy: On his birthday we went to see Sex and the City 2 together. That was really the two most painful hours I’ve ever suffered through. It was as if no one involved had read a newspaper story about the Middle East for, like, eight years. ¿I don’t wanna ruin it, but these women are wearing burkas, and underneath they’re wearing low-cut tops. It made me want to commit ¿a suicide bombing. I just didn’t know who to bomb.
What’s the worst thing on TV ?
I’m pretty tolerant, but Jersey Shore makes me somewhat ashamed to ¿be Italian. It makes me wince. I grew up in Brooklyn, and it’s not too far ¿off from people I know.
Football season is finally here. Do you still have big gatherings at ¿your house where you watch games on a dozen screens?
I do. Within 40 feet there are three screens with multiple games on them. One of them is 103 inches.
How many games is your brain capable of absorbing at once?
None, really. Mostly I wind up cooking and running in when someone starts yelling. I’m like Alice the maid. These guys who come over are such filthy animals that each year I have a breakdown around week 12. I find shit in my daughter’s room or something and I’m like, “Why do I allow these people in my house and feed them?”
If we can get serious for a minute…What makes Jimmy Kimmel cry?
Well, I haven’t seen that new Zac Efron movie yet, but I’m pretty sure I’ll cry at that. The heart of a 14- ¿year-old girl beats beneath this ¿hairy exterior.
What did you think about Conan going to TBS?
I think it could be potentially very good for him, because he can get away with things at TBS that he definitely couldn’t get away with at The Tonight Show. In other words, I think we’re ¿all gonna get a chance to see his cock.
What’s in your dressing room fridge?
There’s Bud Light, Heineken, Red Stripe, Coke Zero, Coke, Fox’s U-bet Chocolate Syrup. I make egg creams sometimes. Oh, I have Danny DeVito’s Premium Limoncello in here. Also some soy sauce, La Victoria taco sauce, olives, three kinds of mustard, cocktail onions…In other words, it’s time to clean this thing out. Oh, and wait a minute, what is this—a Heart of Wisconsin salami beef sausage. Delicious. If there was an emergency, I could subsist off that till Christmas.
Do you have a scar that tells a story?
Yeah, I have this horrible scar on my shin. You can see it bulging. People ask what happened, and the truth is I was separating one chili bowl from another chili bowl in my house and smashed one onto my leg. I decided I didn’t need stitches, even though it was bleeding nonstop for six hours, and finally my Uncle Frank accompanied me to the hospital, where I got it sewn up by a butcher. It’s a mess.
Have you ever been in a fistfight?
Growing up in Brooklyn, there were kids around the block who used to beat the shit out of me and my friends every day. It was almost like a sport for them. I remember it snowed once and they found a new thing, which was grabbing us by the back of the hair and rubbing our faces into the cement with snow on it.
Jesus! Any messages for those guys if they’re reading this?
No, I don’t blame them. I would’ve done the same thing. I was a smart-ass.