Jimmy Kimmel on Battling Politicians, His Future in Late Night and His Unexpectedly Tumultuous Year

Plus, how his show has changed and his annual upfront roast

Kimmel spoke with Adweek about hosting the Oscars again and turning 50. Photography by Scott Witter for Adweek

Since launching his ABC late-night talk show in 2003, Jimmy Kimmel has never had a year like this. Two major events, both very personal to the comedian, unexpectedly turned Kimmel into the conscience of late night—if not the entire country. In April, his son Billy was born with a heart disease that required emergency open-heart surgery at just 3 days old, which prompted him to urge Jimmy Kimmel Live viewers to contact their member of Congress and urge them to uphold the Affordable Care Act. He returned to the topic with a vengeance in mid-September, spending three straight nights criticizing the healthcare bill that Republicans were trying to rush through Congress. Two weeks later, in the wake of the Oct. 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas, where he grew up, he admonished Washington for failing to take meaningful action on gun control.

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This story first appeared in the Nov. 13, 2017, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.
@jasonlynch jason.lynch@adweek.com Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.
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