The Writers Strike Robbed Us of Jimmy Kimmel’s Early Retirement
Much of the talk over AMPTP’s pig-headedness throughout the ongoing SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes is centered around the creative jobs that are likely to be lost without a serious adjustment to the industry – well, today we’re talking about the one job that’s been saved by the strikes.
Jimmy Kimmel has long been the milquetoast talent in the late-night medium, as he’s not sly enough to be mentioned alongside Seth Meyers but not as cloyingly cutesy as the much-derided Jimmy Fallon. Kimmel’s kind of like the Corn Pops of late-night – accessible and inoffensive, but nobody’s first choice. Though he’s earned the ire of former president Donald Trump and spoken passionately about publicly available healthcare, Kimmel’s strong stances and waves-made are few and far between.
Well, much to Trump’s delight, Kimmel reported that he came very close to considering retirement going into this summer – then, tragically, the strike brought him back into the game.
“I was very intent on retiring right around the time when the strike started,” Kimmel reported on the first episode of the “Strike Force Five” podcast which he and his late-night colleagues Fallon, Meyers, Stephen Colbert and John Oliver started earlier this week to keep the creative juices flowing and to benefit the quintet’s out-of-work staff on their respective shows. “Now I realize, like, ‘Oh yeah, it’s kind of nice to work,’” Kimmel said, “When you are working you think about not working.”
Kimmel explained to his contemporaries of his retirement plans, “I was serious. I was very serious. … I enjoy getting summers off. I enjoy the fact that you don’t get them more makes them all the sweeter,” adding, “But I like getting the summer off better when I’m getting paid to get the summer off.”
This last line seemed to confuse Colbert, who asked Kimmel for clarification, “You’re not being paid to not work when normally you are paid to not work?”
“I know. Doesn’t that sound crazy?” Kimmel replied.
The late-night hosts then turned the topic of conversation back towards the strike which was supposedly the inciting subject for the show, with Kimmel reminiscing about the last time late-night hosts saw their shows interrupted by labor disputes back in 2007-2008. Kimmel recalled, “Eventually (David) Letterman and (Craig) Ferguson came back before we did and we were all mad,” referring to the agreement Worldwide Pants reached with the WGA during the last writer’s strike.
Well, Jimmy, if you’re that worried about syncing up the timing with the rest of your “Strike Force,” there are other options – no one said you ever had to come back at all.