There’s a new late-night battle on the horizon when Jimmy Kimmel Live! moves to a new 11:30 p.m. time slot next week, putting him head-to-head with The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Show with David Letterman , and Jimmy’s already coming out swinging! Back in 2010 he made it clear he was on “Team Coco” by blasting Jay for ousting Conan O’Brien from his newly appointed spot on The Tonight Show, and apparently Jimmy’s grudge hasn’t died. In a cheeky new Rolling Stone interview, he tells the mag: “As a comedian, you can’t not have disdain for what he’s done: He totally sold out. He was a master chef who opened a Burger King.”
As for his other competitors, Jimmy is much kinder: “If I beat David Letterman in the ratings, does that mean I’m better than Letterman? No f***ing way.” And he shows nothing but respect when he recalls his first impression of the late night legend: “His show was just so weird and different. I’d never seen anything like it. I didn’t know anyone who had a sense of humor like that… I felt like Letterman was doing the show specifically for me.”
Meanwhile, even though Jimmy Fallon has a few less years under his belt than the other players, Kimmel still sings his praises. “We exchange emails. He’ll say, ‘That was great, I wish we’d done that,’ and I’ll say similar things to him. Fallon has more fun on the air. He just seems thrilled to be there, and it comes through,” he says, although quick to add, “as far as the basics of hosting a talk show, I think I do a better job. He’s not that comfortable doing a monologue or a straight interview yet.”
Checkout Jimmy Kimmel’s full Rolling Stone interview in the January 17 issue.