no a very specific order: Fallon, Stewart, Conan, Letterman, Kimmel, Colbert, Leno and, yes, even Ferguson are all awesome in there own ways.
For the last thirteen years (or so) 11:35 pm has kicked off my favorite block of television (with the exception of the 11 o’clock start of The Daily Show and Conan’s shift to TBS). Eleven thirty-five is, sort, of hallow ground when it comes to Late Night. For over fifteen years now, only three men have started their shows at 11:35 pm. Jay Leno, David Letterman, Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno 2.0. Next Monday, Jimmy Kimmel will join them as he makes the jump from 12:0something to 11:35.
He started Jimmy Kimmel Live ten years ago. I still remember the first show, the guests where Snoop Dogg, George Clooney and Warren Sapp (who flew in by helicopter after just winning the Super Bowl). They all drank beers (audience included), a homage to The Man Show (the show that first endeared fans to Jimmy’s everyman comedy sense, me included). Jimmy didn’t do a traditional monologue, instead he sat behind his desk and just bullshitted for a few minutes (he eventually started doing a real monologue). All in all, it was terrible. Even though I was a huge Kimmel fan from his years on The Man Show, I thought he was way in over his head and it was just a matter of time before he got the ax. Truth be told, I barely even tuned in that first year, it was just too hard to watch.
Jimmy survived that first year, rounded into a pretty darn good host and proved me wrong. Now, after toiling in the AAA of Late Night, he’s on the precipice of Majors, 11:35.
In honor of the accession of one, James Christian Kimmel. I give you a brief history of one of my favorite recurring bits on JKL. The Kimmel – Damon feud.