Jimmy Kimmel Reveals He Was ‘Intent on Retiring’ Before the WGA Strike

If it wasn’t for the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, there’s a chance Jimmy Kimmel would be retiring. The ABC late night host spoke about his feelings about retirement on the first episode of “Strike Force Five,” the new podcast about the strikes from the biggest names in late night.

“As you know, I was very intent on retiring right around the time when the strike started. And now I realize like ‘Oh yeah, it’s kind of nice to work,'” Kimmel said. “When you are working you think about not working.”

Kimmel revealed that he first told Seth Meyers about his retirement plans privately. The late night host’s colleagues — Meyers, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon and John Oliver — echoed that they didn’t think the celebrity was serious about leaving ABC.

“I was serious. I was very serious,” Kimmel said. “I enjoy getting summers off. I enjoy the fact that you don’t get them more makes them all the sweeter… But I like getting the summer off better when I’m getting paid to get the summer off.”

“Wait a second,” Colbert interrupted. “So you normally don’t work in the summer, which we all know. You’re not being paid to not work when normally you are paid to not work?”

“I know. Doesn’t that sound crazy?” Kimmel said.

In the first episode of “Strike Force Five,” the celebrity hosts also elaborated more about the creation of this podcast. Kimmel, who was hosting “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” during the time of the 2007-2008 writers strike, noted that there “wasn’t a lot of communication” between late night hosts during this time and that “as a result there was a lot of nonsense that went on.”

“Eventually [David] Letterman and [Craig] Ferguson came back before we did and we were all mad,” Kimmel said. At the time Worldwide Pants, the production company behind “The Late Show With David Letterman” and “The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson,” was granted an interim agreement from the WGA.

Late night shut down on May 2, the same day that the current WGA strike started. On August 9, the strike passed the 100 day mark, which is when the 2007-2008 strike came to an end.

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