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James Christian Jimmy Kimmel (born November 13, 1967) is an American comedian, actor, voice artist, writer, television producer, singer, rapper and television host. He is the host and creator of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, a late-night talk show that airs on ABC. Prior to that, Kimmel was best known as the co-host of Comedy Central's The Man Show and Win Ben Stein's Money. Kimmel is also a television producer, having produced shows such as Crank Yankers, Sports Show with Norm Macdonald, and The Andy Milonakis Show.
Kimmel was born in the Mill Basin neighborhood of the New York City borough of Brooklyn, the eldest of three children of Joan Kimmel (née Iacono), a homemaker, and James Kimmel, an IBM executive. He is Roman Catholic and, as a child, served as an altar boy. Kimmel's mother is of Italian ancestry; two of his paternal great-great-grandparents, Theresa and Christian Kimmel, were German immigrants.His uncle, Frank Potenza, appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! as a regular from 2003 until his death in 2011. A cousin, Sal Iacono, performed Kimmel's former co-hosting duties during the last season of Win Ben Stein's Money and is now a writer and sketch performer on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
The family moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, when he was nine years old. He graduated from Ed W. Clark High School and then attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for one year before attending Arizona State University for two years without completing a degree.
Kimmel began working in the radio industry while in high school, hosting a Sunday night interview show on UNLV's college station, KUNV. While attending Arizona State University, he became a popular caller to the KZZP-FM afternoon show hosted by radio personalities Mike Elliott and Kent Voss in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1989, Kimmel landed his first paying job alongside Voss as morning drive co-host of The Me and Him Show at KZOK-FM in Seattle, Washington.
Ten months later, Kimmel and Voss were fired by KZOK (for reasons unknown) and were fired again a year later at WRBQ-FM in Tampa, Florida. Kimmel went from Tampa to host his own show at KCMJ in Palm Springs, California, where Kimmel persuaded a young Carson Daly to drop out of college and become his intern. After a morning stint at KRQQ In Tucson, Arizona, Kimmel landed at KROQ-FM in Los Angeles. He spent five years as Jimmy The Sports Guy for the Kevin and Bean morning show. During this time he met and befriended a struggling comedian named Adam Carolla.