One thousand episodes down and Jimmy Kimmel hasn't changed a bit. When asked about some of the guests he's yet to be able to book on his show during his five years (and counting) the first words out of his mouth were "I'd love to have Letterman."
When "Jimmy Kimmel Live" first went on the air, all of the obligatory media profiles of the new latenight entrant mentioned what he Letterman fanatic Kimmel was, and apparently still is. Others on Kimmel's guest wish-list are Bill Murray, Woody Allen and Steve Martin.
Kimmel seemed to be enjoying his 1K moment on Thursday night after taping an extralong 90-minute seg (complete with a comedy bit with latenight mainstay Richard Simmons) to herald his 1000th episode milestone. The afterparty was a low-key affair held poolside at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel, right next door to the show's studio at the El Capitan Theater. Small-ish crowd was mostly crew members, family and assorted friends (like Adam Carolla, Johnny Knoxville, Dominic Monaghan, Paul Reubens, Rebecca Romijn, Carson Daly, David Spade, Rachael Harris, Andy Milonakis and Dick Van Patten, who professes to being a regular view of "JKL").
Despite the old saw about television being such a confounding medium, Kimmel said his job has surely gotten easier with time.
"The audience is much more receptive, the jokes go down much easier" when you've been on the air for a while, Kimmel said.
No, he never fretted too much about getting canceled, even in his rocky first year. "I have ups and downs in my career," Kimmel observed.
Kimmel credited ABC Entertainment boss Stephen McPherson, who was on hand to slap a few backs at the party, with making his work life much easier during the past few years. "We wouldn't be on the air if it wasn't for Steve," Kimmel assured. "He gets our show."