Jimmy Kimmel's first joke? “New studio in our new time slot...you know, the deal is this, we used to be on at midnight and now I'm about 25 minutes closer to my life-long dream of co-hosting 'The View.'"
That's just for the record -- so that, you know, and can say something at the water cooler. Do offices still have water coolers? Anyway, the point of the first joke is to establish this -- same show, same Jimmy, same kind of jokes, which is to say TV-centric, and most often ABC-TV-centric. (The monologue in fact covered almost all TV terrain -- Honey Boo Boo, Kimye, “The Bachelor,” Brent Musburger, and even a bit, “I Hugged My TV.” His first guest? A famous former TV star .?.?. )
Which is all to say -- other than a new studio and new backdrop (which looks identical to the old one but that could be memory playing tricks), and first-time guest Jennifer Aniston (who demolished his desk, “out with the old, in the new…”) "Jimmy Kimmel Live!” at 11:35 is virtually a mirror image of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” at 12:05.
Late night's most TV-obsessed host remains late night's most TV-obsessed host. And so it goes.
But, as fully expected, the launch was seamless -- nothing a fan wouldn't have expected. There were three expanded comic bits embedded within the monologue -- celebrities reading mean tweets, “Lie Witness News,” Hug Your TV Set -- but because a couple have been on the show before, it'd hard to say what was necessarily new about them. The monologue was mostly only so-so by his standards — Kimmel does better and funnier, and no doubt (aah, the band) will. The comedy bits were amusing and -- mean tweets at least - naughtier, rawer than what you'd typically see on say “Tonight.” Aniston and Kimmel joked about their recent vacation together (see below) .?.?.
And so it begins. The beginning of a new chapter in late night which, honestly, reads almost exactly like the last chapter. That's smart because the last thing ABC wants to do is the last thing ABC needs to do -- change an act that's already worked exceedingly well at midnight. “Kimmel” will make an impact here. It's just a matter of time for how long, but he will make an impact.