After five years on the air, does Jimmy Kimmel Live have a chance at ever nabbing the 11:35 p.m. time slot? Thursday night was a test, of sorts: In honor of its 1,000th episode, the show expanded from an hour to 90 minutes, starting at 11:35. And the overnight results are looking good. According to ABC, overall viewership was up 20 percent from the show’s season average; among men 18-34, Kimmel actually tied Late Show With David Letterman.
But long before the numbers came in, Jimmy and pals were celebrating the TV milestone with a private post-show party (and lots of free Jameson Irish Whiskey) at the famed Hollywood Roosevelt hotel. Among those in attendance: Don Rickles, Adam Carolla, David Spade, Kid Rock (the evening’s musical guest), Johnny Knoxville, Rebecca Romijn, Paul Reubens, Carson Daly, Andy Milonakis, Dax Shepard, and comedian Doug Benson. Sarah Silverman, who took out a full-page ad in Variety on Thursday congratulating her boyfriend while posing with Matt Damon in tennis outfits, was also on hand to help blow out the candles. She’s been knee-deep in writing for the next season of the Sarah Silverman Program, she told us, which is scheduled to start shooting in two weeks. (Damon, sadly, could not make the party. He’s shooting a movie in Europe.) As for Kimmel, he’s riding high from residual love pouring in from all over Hollywood following the infamous Ben Affleck affair. Coming soon to his couch: ESPY host Justin Timberlake and Stone Temple Pilots, who’ll take over Kimmel’s outdoor stage for their first reunited TV appearance on May 1.