Jimmy Kimmel is out of work this summer. Like last year, Kimmel is taking the grueling months off to recharge for fall.
In its place, ABC has lined up a line of killer comedians and celebrities. These are the planned implementations for the summer:
Anthony Anderson, Nicole Byer, Al Franken, Jeff Goldblum, Chelsea Handler, Sean Hayes, Simu Liu, Rob McElhenney, Lamorne Morris, Desus Nice, Mark Rober and Kerry Washington.
Okay, not exactly a killer row or even an average group of people. But the plague needed something to brighten it up.
While ABC says the above “talents” are just guest hosts, the network could see their stints as unofficial tryouts.
Before heading back to summer vacation, Kimmel wondered how much longer he would be on a five-day evening program, with his contract reportedly set to expire at the end of 2022.
“Eventually I have to stop doing this. I’m not going to do this forever,” Kimmel said on Variety’s Awards Circuit podcasting. “I wouldn’t be honest at all if I said I’ve made up my mind somehow. However, I think about it a lot.”
ABC has no succession plan for Kimmel. So the network hopes Kimmel doesn’t step down by the end of the year. Even if you’re not a fan of Kimmel’s commentary, it’s hard to look at this guest list and see a promise.
Chelsea Handler tried late Monday night. Spoiler: she cringes:
Jimmy Kimmel Live! guest host Chelsea Handler thinks an AR-15 has more rights than her vagina and says women are deleting their period apps from their phones pic.twitter.com/J3DtbXKzOe
— Alex Christy (@alexchristy17) June 28, 2022
And she may be the best of the bunch.
Desus Nice, really? How many times can this man fail before he leaves showbiz?
Oh, and Al Franken hosting the late night-stop.
Interestingly, ABC did not include ESPN host Stephen A. Smith this year. Smith guest-hosted for Kimmel last August and admitted to pushing for a late-night show on ABC or Hulu, ESPN’s sister networks.
Missing the cut doesn’t bode well for Smith’s chances of moving to late night anytime soon. While Smith isn’t funny — a former must-have quality for overnight guests — he’s a stronger candidate than, say, Simu Liu.
Maybe ABC is punting, and of the ghost that is archaic late at night, on the verge of death. But that’s only because ABC, CBS, NBC, and “Comedy” Central no longer program programs that are funny or worth watching.
To see, Americans still love nighttime television. Bill Maher proves this case every Friday night and Saturday morning when his “New Rules” segment makes headlines. However, viewers don’t like Trevor Noah and James Corden.
Unfortunately, ABC packed the summer full with the likes of Mark Rober and Kerry Washington. So while ABC is a better option than Stephen Colbert at CBS – what isn’t? – it’s still a bad option.
Anyway, we hope Jimmy Kimmel is enjoying his summer and getting some rest.