In the first episode of the “Strike Force Five” podcast featuring Kimmel and his fellow late night hosts, he asked the panel whether they were “getting stir-crazy” and “ready to get back to work” ― before revealing that he had considered hanging up his hat.
“I was very intent on retiring right around the time where the strike started, and now I realize like, ‘Oh yeah, it’s kinda nice to work,’” he said. “You know, when you are working, you think about not working.”
Kimmel replied that he was “very, very serious” about retirement.
“I enjoy getting summers off. I enjoy the fact that you don’t get them even more, makes them all the sweeter. ... But I like getting the summer off better when I’m getting paid to get the summer off,” Kimmel said.
The host has alluded to retirement in the past, noting to Variety in 2017 that his contract was set to expire three years later and he’d like to go out on his “own terms.” He later quipped about retirement rumors on “Ellen.”
Kimmel told Variety last year that he has “moments” where he goes “I cannot do this anymore” along with those where he asks himself, “What am I gonna do with my life if I’m not doing this anymore?”
“Eventually, I am going to have to stop doing this. I’m not going to do this forever,” said the host, whose contract with ABC was extended for three more years in September 2022.
The limited-series podcast is set to run at least 12 episodes, with all of the proceeds going toward “out-of-work staff from the hosts’ respective shows,” according to a press release.