David Letterman is Jimmy Kimmel 's comedy hero. So what would happen if Letterman called and told Kimmel he's the guy who should succeed him on The Late Show?
"I'd definitely consider it," the ABC late-night host told TV Guide Magazine as he prepared to do a week of shows in Austin, Texas while South By Southwest is in session. "I am loyal to ABC and grateful to them for giving me a shot. I was a guy from The Man Show when they put me on. I'm not looking to flee. But just getting a call from Dave would be big for me. So it's definitely something I would listen to."
Letterman has another two years left on his current deal with CBS, where executives have said it's up to the late-night elder statesman to decide when he wants to pack it in.
Meanwhile, Kimmel says he's pumped up by the new competition from Jimmy Fallon on NBC's Tonight Show. "I think he's doing a great job," Kimmel says. "You can do these shows one of two ways. You can hang back and interview the guest or you can put a lot of work into it. They put a lot of work into their show and I admire that, and it impresses me. It inspires me to work harder on my show."
Kimmel has seen no evidence of a booking war with The Tonight Show, which a recent report said was demanding guests appear on the show first or not at all. "The fact of the matter is, you want the celebrities to do your show first,'' Kimmel says. "They either will or they won't. The truth is, there is a balance they can strike — if you do one show first, the next time you do the other show first."
Jimmy Kimmel Live airs weeknights at 11:35/10:35c on ABC.
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