Jimmy Kimmel takes the stage this Sunday night to host the 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards and it’s really had us thinking. Where did this guy come from, and how do we get that gig? Most hosts of major awards shows have had a pretty clear path to fame. They either rose through the ranks at “Saturday Night Live” or clawed their way to the top through the stand-up comedy scene. Jimmy Kimmel did neither. He took the road not taken. In celebration of Kimmel’s second time hosting the awards show, we’ve compiled a brief list of “Dos” and “Don’ts” to help anyone out there who dreams of one day hosting the Emmys by following his nontraditional path.
1. START YOUR CAREER IN RADIO
Jimmy Kimmel’s first foray into comedy came in high school when he hosted a radio show at University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He later became a popular regular call-in guest on a local radio show in Phoenix while he was attending Arizona State University.
2. DON’T WORRY ABOUT GRADUATING COLLEGE
Kimmel attended UNLV for one year and ASU for two, but didn’t graduate from either school, proving that all of us who mortgaged our futures with student loans because we thought we needed college degrees to land big careers didn’t learn all that much in school after all. UNLV did award Kimmel with an honorary degree in 2013.
3. MAKE CARSON DALY GET YOUR COFFEE
One of our favorite little known facts about Kimmel is that he “discovered” late night host Carson Daly and took him on as an 18-year-old intern at a radio station in Palm Springs, California.
4. HOST A LOW-BUDGET GAME SHOW
“Win Ben Stein’s Money” was one of the hardest trivia shows with the lowest monetary awards in the history of television. When it premiered in 1997, pretty much everyone just thought of it as the show with that guy from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Who knew it would become a viral hit before going viral was even a thing? Apparently Jimmy Kimmel. His role as the “everyman” to Ben Stein’s smartypants got him national attention and launched his TV career in a big way.
5. ENCOURAGE GIRLS TO JUMP ON TRAMPOLINES
Jimmy Kimmel went from game show everyman to comedy show manly man when he became co-host of Comedy Central’s “The Man Show” with his buddy Adam Carolla back in 1999. The duo proudly embraced male chauvinist stereotypes and the audience embraced them right back, holding especially tight to the show’s “Juggy Dance Squad” of buxom gyrating girls and the show’s groundbreaking closing segment “Girls on Trampolines” which was simply…you guessed it…girls jumping on trampolines.
6. DON’T BE AFRAID TO GO UP AGAINST THE LATE NIGHT BIG BOYS
When Kimmel was offered a spot hosting his own late night show up against heavyweights Jay Leno and David Letterman back in 2003, most predicted he wouldn’t survive a season. Now, twelve years later, Kimmel has carved out a distinct place for himself in the late night arena and doesn’t appear to be going anywhere any time soon.
7. START A FEUD WITH MATT DAMON
Kimmel started a feud with A-list actor Matt Damon early on in the history of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” ending his nightly broadcast by closing with “My apologies to Matt Damon, we ran out of time”—presumably because Damon was too big an actor to appear on the fledgling show. Twelve years later, Damon is proudly and hilariously playing along with Kimmel and attending couples’ counseling with him on a 2015 “JKL” episode.
8. DON’T STOP DREAMIN’
Jimmy Kimmel isn’t your typical Hollywood success story, because typical Hollywood success stories aren’t a thing. If you’ve got your heart set on being the emcee for television’s biggest night, realize that there are many paths to stardom and some of those paths are line with Juggy Dancers.