Jimmy Kimmel Steps Up as Emmy Host: How Will it Measure Up to His Past Hosting Gigs?

Victoria Leigh Miller

Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel will host the 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, joining the ranks of recent talk show comedians-turned-Emmy hosts, such as Ellen DeGeneres, Conan O'Brien, and Jimmy Fallon.

But can Kimmel bring something new to the table?

Fans have already had a taste of his master of ceremonies abilities, because, let's face it, this isn't his first awards show hosting gig.

The "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" star has emceed the ESPY Awards and the "American Music Awards" -- the latter to the tune of a whopping five times.

He even served as host at the White House Correspondents' Dinner this year, trading barbs with President Obama, who joked, "Our chaperone for the evening is Jimmy Kimmel, who is perfect for the job since most of tonight's audience is in his key demographic -- people who fall asleep during 'Nightline.'"

One of Kimmel's "American Music Awards" hosting stints fell during the 2007 writers' strike, in which he revealed that as a member of the Writers Guild he was on strike and thus couldn't write any jokes.

According to the New York Times, the 2007 "American Music Awards" did have a basic script that had been written before the strike began, but it didn't include any topical jokes. Due to the lack of material, Kimmel made his opening remarks and wasn't seen again for more than 45 minutes.

In 2006, Kimmel famously spoofed Britney Spears's then-estranged husband Kevin Federline with a sketch about Federline's "no-hit wonder" career. Promising the audience that this would be Federline's "last time appearing on American television," the comedian put a K-Fed lookalike in a wooden crate and dumped it in the San Pedro Harbor. Kimmel then announced that "a whole school of fish just got pregnant."

According to NBC, upon the announcement of Kimmel's fifth AMA hosting job, Dick Clark Productions president Orly Adelson said, "We are delighted that Jimmy Kimmel will be joining us once again to emcee the AMA's. Jimmy is a masterful host with incredible spontaneity and wit; audiences can expect a great night."

Kimmel's response: "I agree with Orly completely."

But the Emmy Awards are a whole new ball game for the late night talk show host -- at least when it comes to the hosting part.

Kimmel is actually an Emmy winner himself. Back in 1999, he won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Game Show Host for his spot on the show "Win Ben Stein's Money," effectively ending a decade-long reign of Bob Barker and Pat Sajak winning that title.

But as this year's Emmy host, Kimmel will have his work cut out for him, as he follows in the footsteps of past hosts, such as Bill Cosby, Ellen (who can forget her classy post 9/11 hosting stint?), and even the legendary Johnny Carson, who hosted from 1971 through 1974 and may just be the Emmy host by which all others are measured.

Of his latest awards show hosting gig, Kimmel joked, "I hope to be able to do for the Emmys this year what Eddie Murphy did for the Oscars." (Murphy famously pulled out as host of this year's Academy Awards in the aftermath of his colleague Brett Ratner's controversial exit from the show.)

The 64th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will broadcast from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on September 23 on ABC.