Battle Of The Late Night Princes - Jimmy Kimmel vs. Jimmy Fallon
At the moment it is probably fair to say that the reigning Kings of Late Night are still David Letterman and Jay Leno. It is also fair to say however that both are also probably coming to the end of their reign. It is rumored that Leno will retire for good next year, and Letterman may not be far behind.
There are of course plenty of contenders for the throne. Conan O Brien may want another shot at network late night, and there is always Scotsman Craig Ferguson to consider. The two most likely to emerge victorious however are the Jimmies - Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon.
Although theses are very different men, it is hard not to lump them together sometimes. Aside from the names there are other, sometimes even eerie similarities between the two. Both were born in Brooklyn, New York. Both moved away from Brooklyn as kids and both have Dads who worked for IBM. Both also of course grew up to be late night talk show hosts. Strange huh?
Kimmel vs. Fallon, The Beginnings
Despite their similarities the Jimmies made their way to late night stardom in rather different ways:
Jimmy Kimmel's Early Carreer
James Christian 'Jimmy' Kimmel was born on November 13, 1967. At nine he moved from Brooklyn to Las Vegas and while attending Ed W. Clark High School he began hosting his own radio show at the a local college radio station. He continued to host shows during his one year at Arizona State University.
After dropping out of school Kimmel was hired, and then fired, from a number of different radio hosting jobs. Along the way he managed to persuade a guy named Carson Daly to follow his lead and drop out of college to be his intern when he landed a job, that he would actually keep for five years, at KROQ-FM in Los Angeles. During this time he also met his now best friend and co-collaborator, Adam Carolla.
Kimmel's first big break on TV was as comedic foil for the dour but acerbic Ben Stein on a Comedy Central quiz show called 'Win Ben Stein's Money' in 1997. In 1999 he added another hosting gig to his duties, as lead host of 'The Man Show'. Kimmel shared writing and hosting duties with Adam Carolla and the two quickly gained a reputation as funny, if loutish, dudes who were a lot of fun.
In 2003 Kimmel left 'The Man Show' when ABC offered him late night hosting duties, and 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' was born (even though it has not actually been broadcast live since the second season.)
Jimmy Fallon's Early Career
James Thomas 'Jimmy' Fallon, Jr. was born on September 19, 1974, again, in Brooklyn. As a small child his family moved upstate, to Saugerties, New York though.
As a teen he impressed his parents and friends with his talents as an impersonator. He also developed something of an obsession with 'Saturday Night Live' and would re-enact 'the clean parts' for his family.
Fallon himself actually credits a troll doll for kick starting his career. He was given one as a high school graduation gift and he made up a sketch about troll doll commercials. His mother, hearing about a contest at the well known Bananas Comedy Club in Poughkeepsie, NY suggested he enter, using that skit as a basis for his routine. Fallon won, and thus began a long grind in stand up comedy.
After years on the stand up circuit, often working with The Groundlings comedy troop in LA, Fallon's dream came true when he came to the attention of SNL's Lorne Micheals, and we was added to the show as a featured player for the 1998-99 season. In 2000, he was elevated to Weekend Update Anchor, along with Tina Fey. He left in 2004 to pursue a film carreer.
Fallon's film career was never as big as that of other SNL alumni like Adam Sandler or Will Ferrell, but he had some successes. In 2009 however, with Conan O brien set to move into Jay Leno's slot (a very ill fated move). Fallon was offered the chance to host the late, late night slot and 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' has been on the air ever since.
Fallon vs. Kimmel
Most people would say that Fallon is the 'nicer' Jimmy. Kimmel has a habit of riling up others, his most recent run in having been with singer Morrissey after the latter refused to appear on his show with the cast of 'Duck Dynasty' who the preceded to lampoon the vegetarian singer's beliefs in a series of sketches.
The two Jimmies compete for 30 minutes every night, as the timing of their shows overlaps for that long. Jimmy Kimmel usually has a slight ratings lead, but the figures are close.
Most people also have a favorite between the two, setting up a future rivalry similar to that of Leno and Letterman. Who will be victorious? Only time will tell, but watching to find out should be fun!