Jimmy Kimmel is an American comedian, actor, voice artist and television host. He is the host and creator of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, a late-night talk show that airs on ABC. Prior to that, Kimmel was best known as the co-host of Comedy Central's The Man Show and Win Ben Stein's Money. Kimmel is also a television producer, having produced shows such as Crank Yankers, Sports Show with Norm Macdonald, and The Andy Milonakis Show.
Life & Career
Kimmel was born in the Mill Basin neighborhood of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, the eldest of three children of Joann (née Iacono), a homemaker, and James Kimmel, an IBM executive. He is Roman Catholic and, as a child, served as an altar boy. Kimmel is of German descent on his father’s side and Italian on his mother’s side. His uncle, Frank Potenza, appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! as a regular from 2003 until his death in 2011. The family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, when he was nine years old. He graduated from Ed W. Clark High School and then attended University of Nevada, Las Vegas for one year before attending Arizona State University for two years without completing a degree.
Kimmel began his television career as the comedic counterpart to Ben Stein on the game show Win Ben Stein's Money, which began airing on Comedy Central in 1997. His quick wit and loutish everyman personality were counterpoints to Stein's monotone performing style and patrician demeanor. The combination earned the pair an Emmy award for Best Game Show Host. In 1999, during his time with Win Ben Stein's Money, Kimmel was also co-host with Adam Carolla and co-creator (with Daniel Kellison) of Comedy Central's The Man Show. Kimmel permanently left Win Ben Stein's Money in 2001, replaced by comedian Nancy Pimental, who was eventually replaced by Kimmel's cousin Sal Iacono. The Man Show's success allowed Kimmel, Carolla and Kellison to create and produce, under the banner Jackhole Industries, Crank Yankers for Comedy Central (on which Kimmel plays the characters "Elmer Higgins", "Terrence Catheter", "The Nudge", "Karl Malone" and himself), and later The Andy Milonakis Show for MTV2. Kimmel also produced and co-wrote the feature film Windy City Heat, which won the Comedia Award for Best Film at the Montreal Comedy Festival.