A Day in the Life of Jimmy Kimmel

See what a typical day is like for the late-night comedian—the hardest-working man in showbiz.
July 8, 2014

Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel says he’s the kind of guy who tries to “squeeze 30 hours’ worth of work into a 24-hour day.”

In reality, it seems more like 40 or 50.

On this particular Monday, Kimmel kicks off his hectic schedule with a quick 9 a.m. interview for SUCCESS. Except with the cordial Kimmel, it stretches to 90 minutes. Which in turn puts him behind for his regularly scheduled hour, from 10 to 11 a.m., of going through jokes and bits he’ll want to use on the show that night. (“If the monologue sucks tonight, I’ll blame you,” he jokes.)

At around 11 a.m., he meets with segment producers and goes through all of the segments involving the guests that night. That meeting is followed by another meeting with executive producers about business matters.

Lunch? Not so fast. There’s a reason why Kimmel has a kitchen in his office. From noon to 1 p.m. is rehearsal time, when he goes through even more jokes. Throughout the day, he’s also perusing videos. And he frequently checks his phone for texts from his family. On this day, his daughter Katie, a college art student, is keeping his texting thumbs busy.

“I have a file of my daughter’s art on my phone,” he says, flipping to the file. “And look. She’s texting me right now.”

From 3 to 5 p.m. he writes his monologue before slipping into wardrobe and makeup from 5 to 6 p.m. Jimmy Kimmel Live! actually tapes from 6 to 7. And the day doesn’t end there.

After the show, he meets with a wide range of people, mainly from charities who need him to host an event. On this night, he’s squeezing in a visit with an old radio partner who is visiting from Maine. In Kimmel’s life, that means his buddy was his date to the Alliance for Children’s Rights fundraiser.

Kimmel and Maria Shriver presented the National Champion for Children Award to outgoing president of Disney/ABC Television Group and April 2014 SUCCESS cover figure Anne Sweeney, Kimmel’s soon-to-be-ex boss.

Kimmel eventually finds his way home to his pregnant wife Molly McNearney and perhaps spends a bit of time with her and watches some TV before getting some sleep and starting all over again the next day.

Jimmy Kimmel may be the bad boy of late night, but he’s no slouch. Find out what drives the famous funnyman in the August 2014 SUCCESS cover story.

You might like

Why the Second Step Is Just As Important

SUCCESS Foundation: Why the Second Step Is Just as Important

Planning for victory: A lesson for youth and adults from the pages of ‘SUCCESS for Teens’

June 24, 2017
The 7 Reasons We Fail

The 7 Reasons We Fail

Plus, how to rebound from our missteps

June 21, 2017