TV Article

Dry Humor

It's last call for ''Jimmy Kimmel'' guests. ABC shuts off the tap at the new talk show, passes out milk and cookies instead

Jimmy Kimmel, George Clooney, ... | TOAST OF THE CLOWN Clooney and Kimmel toss a few back
Image credit: Jimmy Kimmel Show: Byron Cohen/ABC
TOAST OF THE CLOWN Clooney and Kimmel toss a few back

After one night on the air, ABC asked Jimmy Kimmel to put a cork in it. ''Jimmy Kimmel Live'''s inaugural show Sunday night had guest George Clooney passing around a bottle of vodka and audience members downing drinks from an in-house bar. But the Los Angeles Times reports that, after one woman in the crowd barfed near an executive from Disney (ABC's parent company), alcohol was taken off the menu. Network suits found the situation ''chaotic'' and ''out of control,'' Kimmel's executive producer, Daniel Kellison, told the paper.

Kellison was the one who had persuaded ABC and Disney to serve drinks, noting that audiences boozed it up at Kimmel's previous series, Comedy Central's ''The Man Show,'' and that patrons at sporting events featuring Disney's professional baseball and hockey teams did so as well. Still, Kellison did not hesitate to let the new show go dry when the edict came down. He told the Times, ''They just said, 'Let's chill out on it and take it away for now,' and we said, 'Fine.' We have bigger fish to fry.''

Kimmel's first night was marked by other ''out of control'' moments, like guest cohost Snoop Dogg's frequent flipping of the bird (ABC tried to block it out by superimposing shots of its logo, but even with the show on a five-second tape-delay, some finger-gesturing still made it through), and Coldplay's outdoor set drawing so many fans that police almost shut it down before it began. But at least the Kimmel audience will now be sober. On Monday's show, Kimmel tweaked his bosses by complaining, ''I vomit every time I go to Disneyland, and they don't shut down Space Mountain.'' Still, the crowd refreshment that night was milk and cookies.

Originally posted Jan 29, 2003