Jimmy Kimmel was ‘very determined to retire’ before WGA strike – Variety

The late-night host revealed this on his “Strike Force Five” podcast on Spotify

Jimmy Kimmel claims he was ready to step down from his duties as ABC’s late-night talk show host earlier this year — but the WGA writers’ strike changed his view.

Kimmel made the revelation on the first episode of the “Strike Force Five” podcast on Spotify, which was streamed live on Wednesday (August 30) and features a roundtable Zoom discussion between Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and John Oliver.

“I was pretty determined to retire by the time the strike started,” Kimmel said in the first episode. “And now, I realize, oh yeah, it’s nice to work.”

“Kimmel, come on, you’re Tom Brady late at night… you pretended to retire,” Myers said. But Kimmel insisted he was serious about retiring: “I was serious, I was very serious.” Kimmel also said he usually takes the summer off, but in past years, he’s been paid.

However, ABC announced a three-year renewal of Kimmel’s deal in September 2022, which would have made any decision for Kimmel to retire a more complicated effort.

Colbert said that during the WGA strike, people watching him publicly asked him if he was “enjoying the vacation”: “I usually say, ‘It’s like a vacation in the same way a colonoscopy is like a nap.’”

The unusual alliance brings together the five late-night hosts, who typically compete for ratings and awards, as a way to pay it forward to their teams — who have been left out of work by the WGA strike, now in its 121st day. Proceeds from “Strike Force Five” will go to unemployed employees of each of their shows (“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and “Late Night.” With Seth Meyers” and “Last Night with John Oliver”).

In a post on X (aka Twitter), Kimmel said the group will produce “Strike Force Five” episodes “for the rest of Strike.” However, it is set to play at least 12 episodes per Spotify.

In podcasting, any time someone says the name of the podcast, a thunderclap sound effect plays.

The last time there was a writers’ strike — in 2007-2008 — “there wasn’t a lot of communication between the late-night hosts, and as a result there was a lot of bullshit that happened,” Kimmel said in the episode. . “So Stephen (Colbert) suggested we get together and talk about our issues and whatever we’re dealing with.”

Other tidbits from the first episode: Kimmel took Fallon on a fishing trip earlier this summer (“I’m fishing, and I was never invited,” Colbert complained); Fallon said his mother spent a week as a would-be nun at the convent. Kimmel said that Ben Affleck and Matt Damon were approached with an offer to pay them one week each of their employees’ salaries during the strike (which Kimmel rejected: “I felt like it wasn’t their responsibility”); One of his all-time favorite guests, Colbert said, was Robert De Niro, who was notorious for not speaking: “We just sat there in silence for a minute…and the audience loved it.”

You can listen to “Strike Force Five” on Spotify (at this link) and all the other major podcast platforms (although, in the show’s trailer, Oliver urges listeners to tune in to “Spotify, you fucks!”).

After the WGA strike began in May, the five hosts began meeting via Zoom video conferencing to discuss the impact of the work stoppage – and then agreed to turn the secret comedy meeting into a podcast.

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