It's time for Jimmy Kimmel to pop the champagne and start celebrating because his late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live will hit the 1,000th episode mark tomorrow night.
The late-night talk show landscape is competitive, and breaking in as a newbie without inheriting a throne (see: Jay Leno taking over for Johnny Carson) is no small task. Audiences and A-listers alike usually flock toward a name they know and trust, which makes Kimmel's milestone that much more significant.
It sounds like the show had more than a few obstacles when they first started out, as described by Kimmel to The Hollywood Reporter:
Every interview turned out to be my last with almost everyone. I'm still cleaning up a lot of that mess from the first three months of the show. We forced the Rock, Dwayne Johnson, to ride a dogsled out onto the stage. He didn't want to. My producer didn't want to hear that. It became an unpleasant thing. We were overly aggressive with people. You can't do that and build any kind of goodwill. Fortunately, I think we've turned it around.
He's certainly come a long way from his shlubby, smirky sidekick persona on Comedy Central's The Man Show, and he recognizes that at first he "didn't understand the niceties of being a talk show host." But now, as the Reporter points out, Jimmy Kimmel Live has "clearly struck a chord with younger adults, who respond to the host's low-key hip approach." I myself never thought I'd be able to take Kimmel that seriously but I have to say, I'm warming up to him.
Of course, hilarious skits starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have recently helped earn him some fans and secure his credibility among Hollywood's elite. Are you won over? Where does Jimmy Kimmel rank in your mind among late-night giants like Leno and Letterman? Do you think he'll be around for another 1,000 episodes?