Jimmy Fallon may be beating Jimmy Kimmel in the late night race since taking the reins at the "Tonight Show," but that isn't what's bothering the host of ABC's rival show, "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"
"My only complaint about Jimmy Fallon is the first name: Jimmy," Kimmel says in the new issue of Esquire. "People get us mixed up all the time. No one remembers which Jimmy is which. Or they think I’m him, which can only make you feel like you should be him. Actually, he says the same thing happens to him."
But Kimmel explains that there are distinct differences in the late night hosts' TV styles, saying, "He’s like an athlete out there. He can jump high, act, sing. He’s a true performer. I’m a broadcaster. That’s how I come at this. Not a stand-up, not an actor, not a commentator. A broadcaster."
But there was a time — many moons ago, when Kimmel worked in radio — that he did try changing his name.
"I worked in a station once where there were two other disc jockeys named Jimmy. So I became Chris Kimmel," he tells Esquire. "I didn’t hate it. Then I was Jimmy again. Chris Kimmel. I’d still answer to it. But in the end, I’m a Jimmy."
But just because the other Jimmy's "Tonight Show" may be ahead in the ratings, doesn't mean that the social media savvy Kimmel is quitting anytime soon.
"This is the job. The only job for a person like me," he says. "I mean, I like to draw. I’m really good at it. I’m a good artist, and I think that’s what I would have done had radio not worked out for me. But here I am. You won’t see me doing anything else in the next twenty-five years."
But one thing the dueling hosts seem to agree on? Mischievously pranking the public.
"I’m willing to let myself be the one complicating the lives of others, asking something impossible, being obtuse, demanding, obnoxious, whatever," explains Kimmel. " I always found that it’s not entirely bad, because the victims always tend to come through. They show their humanity ... I’m the a--hole, yes, but they generally reaffirm their humanity. I always end up recognizing the fact that people are basically good."
Read Kimmel's full Esquire interview here >
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