Jimmy Kimmel hasn't performed his usual late-night duties since the Writers Guild of America declared a strike in May, but he might have been done with the job permanently if not for the work stoppage.
On the first episode of Strike Force Five — the new podcast from Kimmel and fellow late-night hosts Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, and John Oliver — the Jimmy Kimmel Live star said he'd been seriously considering retirement before the writers' strike, but the strike has since renewed his enthusiasm for the show.
"Are you guys getting stir-crazy? Are you ready to go back to work?" Kimmel asked his podcast cohosts. "Because as you know, I was very intent on retiring right around the time where the strike started, and now I realize, like, 'Oh yeah, it's kinda nice to work.' You know, when you are working, you think about not working."
Meyers interrupted to question the legitimacy of Kimmel's claims. "Come on," Meyers said. "You are the Tom Brady of late-night hosts. You have feigned retirement…"
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Jimmy Kimmel
"I'm Tom Brady without any rings, yes, or fingers," Kimmel responded.
"Are we to take you at your word, that you were seriously considering this?" Meyers asked.
Kimmel was adamant that he was "very, very serious" about it, and said that he'd privately told some of the other late-night hosts about his intent to retire.
"I don't think we took you serious, though," Fallon said.
For their inaugural episode, the Strike Force Five hosts also discussed why they decided to join forces during the strike. "The last time there was a writers' strike, there wasn't a lot of communication between the late-night hosts," Kimmel said. "And as a result, there was a lot of nonsense that went on, so Stephen suggested we get together and we talk through our issues and whatever we're dealing with."
The hosts are also looking out for their teams. "The reason we're doing this is because we are financially supporting members of our staffs," Kimmel explained. "There are hundreds of members of our staffs — writers, you name it. Everyone that works on a TV show is out of work right now, and so all the money we make for this show goes to them."
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