Regarded as ABC’s “prince of late-night”, Jimmy Kimmel’s net worth is the result of trying “to work harder than anyone else.” The popular TV personality took to the stage at the 2023 Oscars as host for the third time, cementing his place in Hollywood’s inner circle.
James Christian Kimmel was born on November 13, 1967, in Brooklyn, New York, and is a descendant of Italian immigrants. He was inspired by legendary talk-show host David Letterman’s star in radio, so Kimmel pursued radio as well while in high school. In 1989, after attending Arizona State University, he landed his first paying job alongside fellow former student Kent Voss as morning drive co-host of The Me and Him Show at KZOK-FM in Seattle. “For the most part, from the moment I got a job in radio, I had to work very hard to make a living,” he told Success in 2014. The team performed several stunts and pranks on air, with one resulting in an $8,000 loss in advertising. They were fired a year later, and again as hosts at WRBQ-FM in Tampa. Find out how much he makes from being one of the hardest guys working in TV and a three-time Oscars host below.
What is Jimmy Kimmel’s net worth? The Jimmy Kimmel Live! host is worth $50 million according to Celebrity Net Worth. As mentioned, he began his career in radio and actually resisted TV. He started out writing promotional copy for Fox broadcasters but was soon recruited to do on-air announcing himself. Producer Michael Davies apparently offered him several TV shows but Kimmel declined them until he was offered a place as the comedic counterpart to Ben Stein on the game show Win Ben Stein’s Money, which debuted on Comedy Central in 1997.
Kimmel was then offered a co-hosting gig on The Man Show (which has aged poorly, by the way). Kimmel left in 2003 to host his own late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC. Interestingly, the show has actually not been broadcast live since 2004 when guest Thomas Jane said “f—k” and censors failed to catch it in time, per Vulture. When the show faced layoffs in 2005, Kimmel himself pitched opening each episode with an “integration”—a sketch that starred an advertiser’s product. “That was my stupid idea,” he told Vulture in 2012. “Then it turned into a big moneymaker for them. Now I’m stuck with it.”
In 2014, the TV personality did an interview with Success in which he talked about his work ethic and how he enjoys fly-fishing during any time he has off. “When I’m really busy, I look forward to something like that. I put it on my calendar and try to focus on it when it gets really stressful,” Kimmel said. “It’s great to have downtimes. I almost never have them. There’s always a charity event to host or preparation for the show. If this job was just the show, I could do it pretty easily, but all the extra things add up.” He explained how important it is for him to know everyone on his staff and put in the hours. “The only thing that I think I did right is that I always try to work harder than anyone else. It eliminates a lot of excuses from people if they see me working very hard,” he said, adding that he is a stickler for being on time.
“I think it is disrespectful when you are late,” he said. “My boss, [Walt Disney CEO] Bob Iger, is probably the only person who gets more done than I do, and he’s usually at his office at 5 am every day.” His band leader Cleto Escobedo III echoed this sentiment. “He’s always been strong, decisive. There’s not a lot of wishy-washiness about him,” he said. “He works a lot, from the time he gets up until he goes to bed. His dad was a good example for him. He never takes anything for granted.”
When asked how Kimmel defines success, he said: “Being successful means earning the respect of your peers and co-workers, but it’s also making enough money that you don’t have to go to the ATM and worry if there is $20 in there so you can have lunch… That was always a source of great stress for me, to pay the bills. They say money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy a lot of peace of mind, especially if you are as anxious a person as I am.”
Kimmel’s position in the entertainment industry hasn’t been without controversy, however. In 2020, in light of Black Lives Matter protests, he apologized for incorporating racist blackface into sketches. “I have long been reluctant to address this, as I knew doing so would be celebrated as a victory by those who equate apologies with weakness and cheer for leaders who use prejudice to divide us,” the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host said in a statement issued on June 23. “That delay was a mistake. There is nothing more important to me than your respect, and I apologize to those who were genuinely hurt or offended by the makeup I wore or the words I spoke.”
He continued: “On KROQ radio in the mid-90s, I did a recurring impression of the NBA player Karl Malone. In the late 90s, I continued impersonating Malone on TV. We hired makeup artists to make me look as much like Karl Malone as possible. I never considered that this might be seen as anything other than an imitation of a fellow human being, one that had no more to do with Karl’s skin color than it did his bulging muscles and bald head.”
He added that his impressions went on to include “dozens” of famous figures, and he never thought of representing them any differently on the basis of their race. “In each case, I thought of them as impersonations of celebrities and nothing more,” he explained. “Looking back, many of these sketches are embarrassing, and it is frustrating that these thoughtless moments have become a weapon used by some to diminish my criticisms of social and other injustices,” Kimmel wrote. “I believe that I have evolved and matured over the last twenty-plus years, and I hope that is evident to anyone who watches my show. I know that this will not be the last I hear of this and that it will be used again to try to quiet me. I love this country too much to allow that. I won’t be bullied into silence by those who feign outrage to advance their oppressive and genuinely racist agendas.”
What is Jimmy Kimmel’s Oscars salary? In 2022, Kimmel revealed he was paid $15,000 to host the Oscars in 2017 and 2018. Wanda Sykes, who had to co-host with Regina Hall and comedian Amy Schumer, lamented how little she was getting paid for hosting during an episode of Kimmel Live!. “I was real excited about [the gig], but then I realized, out of all the jobs that I have, this one is actually gonna cost me money,” she joked. “I got paid $15,000 to host the Oscars. And there’s one of me!,” he said in response. “You guys will probably have to split that.” They then talked about how much work went into being host for Hollywood’s night of nights and questioned whether the investment of time and energy was worth it. “You’re getting robbed. You know what? Hold out right now because they need hosts, you know?” he told Sykes. To compensate for the low pay, she joked: “Well, I’ve already decided I’m just going to steal an Oscar.”
What is Jimmy Kimmel’s Jimmy Kimmel Live! salary? The late-night talk show host earns an annual salary of $15 million. It’s a job he’s held since 2003 which makes him one of the longest-running talk show hosts in history behind the legendary Johnny Carson, who hosted The Tonight Show for 30 years from 1962 to 1992. But how does Jimmy Kimmel’s net worth compare to his talk-show host counterparts?
What is Jimmy Fallon’s net worth? As Celebrity Net Worth reports, The Tonight Show host’s fortune is around $60 million with an annual salary of $16 million. It’s a fair jump from the $7.50 per set he received at The Groundlings—an improv group based in Los Angeles that he joined to polish his stand-up comedy.
What is Stephen Colbert’s net worth? Stephen Colbert is worth around $75 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth, with an annual salary of $6 million to host The Late Show in the first few seasons which ballooned to $15 million from October 2019 as a contract extension.
What is James Corden’s net worth? Celebrity Net Worth has figured out James Corden’s net worth to be $70 million, with a $9 million annual salary for hosting The Late Late Show. He’s also shown off his acting chops in a range of films, television and theatrical roles.
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