ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” will mark the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic — or as the show calls it, the “one-year anniversary of our national incarceration,” with a special episode next Thursday.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live: Coronaversary Show” will take the place of a regular episode of the late-night talker on March 11 at 11:35 p.m. ET. Among the guests will be U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, returning to the show exactly a year after he guest hosted “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
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That Buttigieg-hosted episode in March 2020, scheduled long before the pandemic unfolded, was notable in that it didn’t have a studio audience — only “Kimmel” staffers and Buttigieg’s entourage. And it was also the final episode for “Jimmy Kimmel Live” before production completely shut down over concerns that COVID-19 was rapidly spreading.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” and the other late night talk shows went dark for several weeks before slowly returning with truncated, virtual editions from their hosts’ homes. “Jimmy Kimmel Live” swapped slots with “Nightline” for two weeks, and shrunk to 30 minutes until September. “Jimmy Kimmel Live” eventually returned to its studio at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, but continues to rely on staffers for a studio audience. In January, as COVID-19 rates spiked, Kimmel again moved the show to his house — but it’s been back at the El Capitan since Jan. 25.
Besides Buttigieg, other guests on the March 11 special will be Joel McHale and a music performance from Adam Duritz.
Kimmel has turned several editions of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” into specials over the show’s 18-year history. Last year, he hosted a special tribute to Kobe Bryant after the basketball legend’s death. In 2010, he famously did an entire episode impersonating Jay Leno. In 2019, one episode became the satirical “Intermission Accomplished: A Halftime Tribute to Trump.”
The show has also done specials on location in Brooklyn and Las Vegas, as well as its “Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live: Game Night” events and episodes devoted to TV and film franchises, such as the “Lost” finale and “Jimmy Kimmel Live After Darth: A Star Wars Special,” with the cast of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” And he was done (RED) benefit shows in honor of World AIDS Day with Bono.
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