ABC announced that, in January, Jimmy Kimmel, a host of Comedy Central's belchy The Man Show, will debut a talk show to replace
Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher following
Kimmel made his ABC debut at the network's upfront last week and proved that, like the comedian ABC originally wooed, David Letterman, the host they got also knows how to bite the hand that feeds him. Below is an excerpt from his stage introduction:
Before I get started, I have one favor to ask: Please do not breathe a word of this to Ted Koppel. We all know what happened the last time, and no one wants to go through that again. He's out, right, Lloyd?… Koppel's gone, right? He knows, this time?
My name is Jimmy Kimmel, and I'm the new king of late night. I know that may sound presumptuous, but I really feel, with the right support and promotion, I could be the best thing to happen to this network since Michael Ovitz.
Seriously, though, this is the plan to resurrect the network? Dragnet
and me? … [turning toward ABC Entertainment chiefs Lloyd Braun and Susan Lyne] Are you guys trying
to get fired? ... Believe me, when I'm done here, they're going to be scalping tickets to the Lion King
outside this very theater, and Bill Maher is going to be in the grotto at the Playboy mansion laughing his ass off. … I don't know what I'm doing here. They called me. We had lunch. They gave me a talk show. I read The Late Shift. I don't think it's supposed to work like that. I'm pretty sure you're supposed to kiss a lot of ass and hide in the closet and stuff. …
In all seriousness, about two months ago, it looked like you had David Letterman coming to your network. Instead, they got me. This is not a step in the right direction. All I can tell you is, I'm excited. OK, maybe ABC doesn't
have the viewership of a Comedy Central. …
I really want to thank Lloyd and Susan. It's unlikely either one of you will still be here by the time the show gets on the air. But it was great interviewing with you. And to the rest of the you, I just want to say, better luck next time.