Prolific Daytime Emmy Award-winning comic and talk show host Jimmy Kimmel got his big break in the media as a sports man before hitting his stride as co-host of the popular Comedy Central game show Win Ben Stein's Money. If anyone is a prime example of how persistence can pay off, it's Kimmel -- after being fired from radio stations in Seattle, Phoenix, Tucson, and Tampa, early in his career, the future media superstar finally found a place to call home as "Jimmy the Sports Guy" on KROQ FM Los Angeles' Kevin and Bean show. Kimmel's talent as an emcee also found him becoming a regular fixture at Friar's Club roasts.
In 1997, Kimmel scored the co-hosting gig on Win Ben Stein's Money, his first foray into television. It didn't take audiences long to warm up to the wisecracking co-host, and soon the Brooklyn-born, Las Vegas-raised Kimmel was also moonlighting as the co-host of yet another hit Comedy Central series -- The Man Show. Seated opposite Adam Carolla and usually with a cold one in hand, Kimmel proved a perfect fit for the playfully crude series that eschewed the virtues of women on trampolines. He effortlessly (at least to viewers) alternated between the two series until Win Ben Stein's Money went off the air in 2002. Despite the fact that it didn't have as long of a shelf life as Wheel of Fortune and The Price Is Right, Win Ben Stein's Money at the very least served well to propel Kimmel's career forward by earning him a Daytime Emmy.
While Kimmel's stint on The Man Show would only last another year, by this point he had established himself as one of television's most promising emerging talents and began appearing on a variety of talk shows and television specials. Kimmel's association with Comedy Central continued amicably when he assumed the role of creator, writer, and producer of the prank-phone-call series Crank Yankers in 2002, and in 2003 Kimmel took center stage as the host of his own late-night ABC talk show: Jimmy Kimmel Live. Very much a family affair, Jimmy Kimmel Live featured his Cousin Sal, Uncle Frank, Aunt Chippy, and even his parents in addition to offering childhood best friend Cleto Escobedo as the bandleader. As successful seasons continued to fly by, it soon became clear that Kimmel had become a major fixture in the world of late night. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi