Jimmy Kimmel Live celebrates 18th anniversary with throwback monologue

Jimmy Kimmel (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Jimmy Kimmel (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) /

Last night marked the 18th anniversary of Jimmy Kimmel Live! and while there wasn’t much fanfare, the late night show did look back at some of its earliest monologue jokes.

It had been some time since ABC tried a traditional late night show when Jimmy Kimmel started in 2003. Kimmel’s show replaced Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect in a move that ultimately worked out well for both parties.

Kimmel didn’t exactly come racing out of the gates, however. The show struggled to compete and the “live” aspect became too much of a burden both for ABC and the show. But eventually, Jimmy Kimmel Live! found its footing and is now considered among the best late night shows on television.

Last night on the show, Kimmel opened his monologue by marking the occasion. Rather than show a highlight package or montage, the comedian looked back at his very first jokes about Donald Trump and Joe Biden.

Jimmy Kimmel’s political jokes have come a long way in 18 years

A Donald Trump hair joke isn’t exactly the most creative bit of humor, even in 2004. But even back then, Kimmel knew it was a throwaway line. The comedian probably wouldn’t have guessed that it would be played again on the show’s 18th anniversary. Kimmel has certainly come a long way in his insults towards now-former President Donald Trump.

The Joe Biden joke from 2008 marked an improvement in the monologue writing. And of course, we know that Obama-Biden would be the combination that eventually took out Osama bin Laden, adding another layer to Kimmel’s joke.

Now in 2021, Kimmel’s political punchlines are among late night TV’s best. Millions of fans tuned in to see his reaction to every Trump tweet, scandal, and controversy.

But maybe the funniest part about Kimmel’s trip down memory lane was revisiting his look from the early days of the show. It certainly entertained Guillermo who may be in for some revenge for laughing at his boss. Tonight’s show should celebrate the sidekick’s 50th birthday.

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What has been your favorite moment from Jimmy Kimmel over the past 18 years? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.