The 52-year-old comedian shared the news on Thursday’s episode, where he made the surprising announcement that the episode would be his last show for the remainder of the 2020 summer so that he can take some time off to spend with his family.
“Tonight is my last new show for the summer. I’m taking the summer off to spend even more time with my family,” he explained. “I’ve been doing this job for almost 18 years. I’ve done 3,130 shows.”
He made sure to note that there’s nothing wrong in his life that led to the decision. He simply says he needs a break after playing host for so long.
“There’s nothing wrong me, my family is healthy, I’m healthy,” he said. “I just need a couple of months off. So, while I’m gone, a cavalcade of very kind and capable people will be filling in for me. I think you’re going to be very happy with them. They will be guest hosting the show.“
The announcement came with a funny guest cameo from an “enemy” of the show, actor Matt Damon, who implied that he’d been waiting with Kimmel’s wife in the backroom for the host to have him on the show for months.
As The New York Post notes, Kimmel briefly took time off from the show in 2017 when his son was born with a congenital disease and had to undergo multiple surgeries on his heart. In that time, celebrities like Shaquille O’Neal, Dave Grohl, Channing Tatum, Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Tracee Ellis Ross, Neil Patrick Harris and Melissa McCarthy filled in for him.
He turned the show over to a guest host again in March when he asked former Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg to sit behind his desk. Prior to that, he turned the reins over to “Captain Marvel” actress Brie Larson in December.
“We know Jimmy Kimmel will deliver a uniquely entertaining, funny and moving Primetime Emmys show,” said Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment. “He’s a true master of ceremonies who reveres this industry and its people; and just as Jimmy has done with his own show over the past few months, he will tackle this momentous event with heart and humor, and bring some much-needed joy and optimism to our television colleagues and viewers at home.”
The late-night talk show host confirmed the news on his own Twitter account, stressing that he’s still a bit wary about how the award show will be handled this year given the coronavirus pandemic.
“I don’t’ know where or how or even why we are doing this, but we are and I am hosting it! The 72nd #Emmy Awards – Sunday, September 20th on @ABCNetwork @TelevisionAcad,” he wrote.