Late-night shows were one of the first to shut down production amid the Screen Actor’s Guild and Writer’s Guild of America strikes.
But for Jimmy Kimmel and the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” show, a hiatus might have happened regardless of the strikes — and it would’ve been permanent.
Appearing on the Wednesday inaugural episode of “Strike Force Five,” a podcast with co-hosts Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert, and John Oliver, Kimmel revealed that he was “very, very serious” about hanging up the mic for good.
“I was very intent on retiring right around the time where the strike started,” Kimmel explained. “And now, I realize, Oh yeah, it’s kind of nice to work. When you are working, you think about not working.”
The five late-night TV legends started the podcast in an effort to continue to pay their staff, who are all out of jobs since the WGA went on strike in May after being unable to come to an agreement on a new contract with Hollywood studios and various streaming networks.
“Everyone that works on a TV show is out of work right now, and so all the money that we make on this show goes to them,” Kimmell explained to listeners.
He also revealed to viewers that frequent guests and longtime friends Matt Damon and Ben Affleck offered to pay Kimmel’s staff for two weeks while they were out of work.
“A week each, they wanted to pay out of their own pockets,” he said. “I did say no, I felt that was not their responsibility.”
Variety reported that Kimmel renewed his contract for “Jimmy Kimmel Live” for another three years in 2022, though it was originally set to expire in 2023.
“After two decades at ABC, I am now looking forward to three years of what they call ‘quiet quitting,'” he joked at the time.”
Kimmel’s net worth as of Thursday afternoon is an estimated $50 million.