Being the host of the top television-awards show is only part of Jimmy Kimmel’s very good year.
Newly engaged to Molly McNearney, a head writer on his weeknight ABC show, the star of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” also was the featured attraction at this past spring’s high-profile White House Correspondents Association Dinner.
Moreover, his program — which he’ll bring to his native Brooklyn,. N.Y., for a week at the end of October — will trade positions with “Nightline” in the network’s late-night lineup come January. His value to ABC also is confirmed by its selection of him to host the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 23.
Don’t expect the event at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre to make Kimmel suddenly reverent, though. “I guess it’s human nature that if you know somebody, you are able to make a little bit more fun of them without them getting angry,” he tells Zap2it. “I think that will help me. I think I will know probably 40 percent of the people in the audience that night.”
Indeed, many celebrities have sat with Kimmel during the near-decade of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” so far. “I operate under the presumption that no one has ever seen my show,” he muses, “so I go from that point of view. I understand that I’m there hosting the Emmys, and it’s not some extension or expansion of my show.
“I want it to be jazzy from beginning to end. I don’t have a ton of control over how things go, only what I do know is that I’d like to be a part of the show throughout. I think sometimes on award shows, the host is there in the beginning, then he or she disappears until about 45 minutes later. It’s nice to be able to comment on things as they’re happening.”
As one of those who announced the Emmy nominations very early on a morning in mid-July [in his pajamas], Kimmel got to name his own program as a first-time contender for outstanding variety series. “It was weird to read my own name,” he allows. “It would have been even better if mine was the only name that I read, but short of that, it was good.”