Jimmy Kimmel Is Threatening to Retire Again

Two more years on his contract? ‘That seems like enough’
Jimmy Kimmel Is Threatening to Retire Again

Just go ahead and buy an island, Kimmel! For at least the second time in less than a year, comedian Jimmy Kimmel is making noise about leaving the late-night hosting grind and riding off into the sunset to draw graphic novels. Or something like that.

“Wednesday night, I was very tired and I had all these scripts to go through — I had to revise and rewrite all these pitch ideas for the Oscars — and I was literally nodding off onto my computer,” Kimmel told the Los Angeles Times Tim Grierson. "In those moments, I think, ‘I cannot wait until my contract is over.’ But then, I take the summer off or I go on strike, and you start going, ‘Yeah, I miss the fun stuff.’ ”

Kimmel has been at the late-night comedy game for a while now, with Jimmy Kimmel Live! debuting in 2003. He’s become the genre’s elder statesman, earning a reported $15 million a year for his trouble. But he might finally be tiring of running on the talk-show treadmill. “I think this is my final contract. I hate to even say it, because everyone’s laughing at me now — each time I think that, and then it turns out to be not the case. I still have a little more than two years left on my contract, and that seems pretty good. That seems like enough.”

That echoes Kimmel’s confession last summer on the Strike Force Five podcast when he told his late-night compatriots that “I was very intent on retiring right around the time when the strike started.” Being forced away from the show by the writers’ strike gave Kimmel an opportunity to recharge his batteries and contemplate how much he’d miss the show. Still, “I was serious. I was very serious."

What would Kimmel do in two years with all that free time? He imagined Future Jimmy as a man honing his skills across a variety of spheres. “He is very accomplished,” joked Kimmel. “He speaks Italian, he plays the harmonica beautifully. He is an expert fly-fisherman. He does all these different things that I know I’m not actually going to do. He’s drawn some graphic novels that were very well-received.”

What’s missing is Future Jimmy taking it easy. “It’s funny,” Kimmel says. “Whenever I think of what I’m going to do when I stop working, it all involves more work.”


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