Kimmel's first real foray into performance was as an university radio disc jockey. After checking the airwaves at UNLV and Arizona State University, Kimmel started his expert radio job at age 21. Bouncing from market-to-market in cities like Seattle, Phoenix and Tucson, Kimmel eventually located a home at Los Angeles' well known KROQ as Jimmy the Sports Guy on The Kevin and Bean Show.
In 1997, Kimmel made the leap to television, debuting on the small screen as the host of Comedy Central's game program, Win Ben Stein's Money. Kimmel supplied a comic counterpoint for the show's eponymous challenger. Stein and Kimmel won a 1999 Daytime Emmy for Best Game Show Host and a Daytime Emmy nomination in 2001.
Two years into his game show success, Kimmel, in cooperation with longtime friends Adam Carolla and Daniel Kellison, set up a production business under the name Jackhole Industries. The trio began developing comedy shows through Jackhole, and pitching them to numerous networks. In 1999, the company pitched one of its projects, The Man Show, to Comedy Central. Billed as the "anti-Oprah," the half-hour comedy program adorned testosterone and featured beer chugging, models bouncing on trampolines, and unabashed commode humor. Hitting new heights in puerile comedy, the show was a runaway success for the network and led to Kimmel's constant appearances as a commentator on Fox NFL Sunday.
After their Man Show accomplishments, Kimmel and his business produced the 2002 program, Crank Yankers, on Comedy Central. The program illustrated puppets acting out previously recorded prank phone calls voiced by comic personalities such as David Alan Grier, Dane Cook, Seth MacFarlane, Wanda Sykes, Sarah Silverman, and also Kimmel's very own children.
Unfortunately, as Kimmel's program and profession thrived, his marriage started to dissolve. In 2003, Gina filed for divorce, and Kimmel looked for solace in friend and Crank Yankers compatriot, Sarah Silverman. The two began dating shortly thereafter, making an alternately sweet and antagonistic group - one with an abnormal penchant for sharing individual information in a very public way. In spite of a 2008 split, the amicable couple appears to be reconciling.
With numerous favorite shows under his belt, ABC showed an interest in Kimmel as a potential late evening host. Jimmy Kimmel Live hit the air on January 26th, 2003, to average evaluations. Nevertheless, 1,000 episodes later, Kimmel has earned the respect of A-list guests and beat out rival late-night talk shows in the scores. ABC also announced just recently that it is extending Kimmel's contract for an additional year, keeping him on the air through at least 2010.