I always wondered when this move was going to happen. With Kimmel’s ever-increasing relevance in the past 5-7 years with what’s in the Social Zeitgeist while balancing what’s in the mainstream, it was only a matter of time before his show made Letterman and Leno look Smithsonian, if you know what I mean.
I remember lying in the grass with Jimmy watching fireworks explode above us, (no, we were not holding hands…altho it was romantic), in Pittsburgh (okay, maybe it wasn’t that romantic) at the MLB Celebrity All-Star game. We we’re both there to play n the game. We had just come from the locker room with the likes of Hall of Famer’s Goose Gossage, Dave Winfield, Franco Harris and others where I saw Kimmel flow so effortlessly in conversation as a ‘normal dude’. He was intently curious about everything. I could see that the old timers and even the current ballplayers liked Jimmy. In our world, I’ve been in television for 20 years, and in the professional sports world, unless you’re just an idiot, you can spot a fraud or someone who is not genuinely authentic…or always has to be “on”.
Jimmy is Jimmy. And the ballplayers, young and old, along with the 38,496 baseball fans in Pittsburgh could see this on that night. Even my father, who I took for All-Star weekend, felt the same. Jimmy was gracious and spent time chatting with my dad. Altho my dad apologized for not watching Jimmy’s show cuz’ he’s usually fast asleep by midnight.
All in all, this is a great(and well-deserved) move for Jimmy and I’m exceptionally happy for him.
Oh, and there is one other guy who was brilliant handling conversation that night. My dad, Big Ray. He spent most of the All-Star game sitting between Cal Ripken Jr. and Franco Harris (both Hall of Fame Inductees). From time-to-time I’d look over and they were laughing and slapping each other on the back. Not much of surprise tho’, this is the same dad, who at 1am on a Thursday night in Houston at Alonzo Mourning and Magic Johnson’s NBA All-Star Weekend Celebrity Pool Tournament, I found in the back of the pool hall drinking a beer and hanging with rapper-actor Ludacris. And yes, both were laughing. I’m sure my dad, who recently took an express ride to Heaven, but, as I mentioned, likes to get to sleep by midnight, will be happy for Jimmy, because now he can watch his show. Altho’ wouldn’t Heaven have the ultimate DVR?