Jimmy Kimmel Says He Was “Very Intent on Retiring” Before Writers Strike Started

Jimmy Kimmel said that he was ready to hang up his late night host hat before the Writers Guild took to the picket lines, but has since changed his mind.

During the first episode of the limited Spotify podcast Strike Force Five, with Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver and Seth Meyers, the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host shared the revelation.

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“I was very intent on retiring right around the time where the strike started,” he said. “And now, I realize, oh yeah, it’s kind of nice to work. You know when you are working, you think about not working.”

Meyers proceeded to question his fellow late-night TV host: “Kimmel, c’mon, you are the Tom Brady of late night…you have feigned retirement…. Are we to take you at your word?” But Kimmel doubled down, saying, “I was serious, I was very, very serious.” Kimmel added that he likes getting the summer off from his show each year, but he likes it better when he’s “getting paid to get the summer off.”

If Kimmel had made the decision to retire before the strike was called, it would have been complicated since he agreed to a three-year extension of his Emmy-nominated ABC show last year, which would bring it through its 23rd season. At the time, the host joked in a statement, “After two decades at ABC, I am now looking forward to three years of what they call ‘quiet quitting.'”

On Wednesday, the five late night hosts announced the newly launched podcast, which will benefit staff impacted by the ongoing strikes. The podcast will consist of at least 12 episodes, with all five of its hosts participating.

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