Jimmy Kimmel has been a staple of late-night television for more than 20 years — but he’s not sure he’s done just yet.
The “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” host, 55, said he was ready to take a step back from his emceeing duties. But when the Writer’s Strike went down earlier this year, he decided to stay on the air.
The comedian revealed why he changed his mind on the recent premiere episode of his limited Spotify podcast series Strike Force Five, alongside fellow late-night hosts Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Seth Meyers.
“I was very intent on retiring right around the time where the strike started,” Kimmel said.
“And now, I realize, oh yeah, it’s kind of nice to work. You know when you are working, you think about not working.”
Meyers, 49, then inquired, “C’mon, you are the Tom Brady of late night…you have feigned retirement…. Are we to take you at your word?”
But “The Serious Goose” author stayed firm: “I was serious, I was very, very serious.”
He then joked how he likes to have a summer hiatus every year and to “get paid” for it.
All late-night shows were forced to shut down in May when the Hollywood strike began.
Thousands of film and TV writers have been heading to the picket lines across New York and California since late spring to fight for pay increases.
Kimmel and the rest of his talk show bros created “Strike Force Five” as a response to the strike.
“This past May, the hosts of five major late-night talk shows had an idea: to meet every week to discuss the complexities behind the ongoing Hollywood strikes,” a press release explained about the idea of the radio program. “What ensued was a series of hilarious and compelling conversations.”
Proceeds from the podcast will be going to the staff on each of the late-night hosts’ shows who are out of work. The show is slated to run for at least 12 episodes.
Just before the strike went into effect, Fallon, 48, described how much he loved writing for TV during an episode of his talk program, “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
“I love writing. I love writing for TV. I love writing this show,” the “Saturday Night Live” alum said. “I love that we get to come in with an idea for what we want to do every day and we get to work on it all afternoon and then I have the pleasure of coming out here.”
“No one is entitled to a job in show business,” he continued. “But for those people who have a job, they are entitled to fair compensation. They are entitled to make a living. I think it’s a very reasonable demand that’s being set out by the guild. And I support those demands.”