Jimmy Kimmel Has COVID-19, Replacement Host for Late Night Show Named

Jimmy Kimmel will miss Monday's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! after testing positive for COVID-19, the comedian said. Mike Birbiglia will fill in for Kimmel beginning Tuesday. Birbiglia has been a frequent guest on Kimmel's show and is also known for his roles in Orange Is the New Black and Billions.

"Our daughter brought us covid (even though we specifically asked her not to) All feeling fine, I am double vaxxed and boosted, but the show must not go on," Kimmel tweeted. He then apologized to Tom Cruise and comedian Iliza Shlesinger, who were scheduled to visit the show this week.

"I must be the first person to ever deplane a Southwest Airlines flight and find out they're guest-hosting a late-night talk show," Birbiglia joked after the news broke. "Sending love to the Kimmels. See you on the TV tomorrow, friends."

This is a tough week for Kimmel to miss since his guest roster is packed with A-listers. Aside from Cruise, Parquet Courts were scheduled to perform on Monday's episode. Mike Myers is visiting on Tuesday with Shlesinger and The Black Crowes performing. Ewan McGregor is stopping by on Wednesday to talk about the Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series, alongside Ben Schwarz and The Head and The Heart. On Thursday, Kevin Hart and Hacks star Hannah Einbinger are visiting.

Kimmel is not the first late-night host to test positive for COVID-19. CBS hosts Stephen Colbert and James Corden tested positive, as have NBC hosts Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers. Kimmel is ABC's only late-night host, and his show starts at 11:30 p.m. ET each night.

Kimmel started hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2003. In 2019, he renewed his contract through 2022. There has been speculation about him leaving the series behind, especially since he still hasn't renewed his contract for 2023. In September 2021, ABC Entertainment President Craig Erwich told Deadline they hope Kimmel stays at ABC for the foreseeable future.

"First of all, we want to stay in business with Jimmy for many, many years to come. He's the king of late-night. He's the longest-serving host of any current late-night shows," Erwich said. "He had a really great year last year, beating Fallon in adults 18-49 for the first time ever, so as long as Jimmy wants to be on ABC, we'd love to have him."


Before renewing his contract in 2019, Kimmel said he was considering leaving before ABC executives talked him into staying. "I was seriously considering – I don't know if you'd say it was really retiring because I'd always do something," Kimmel told Deadline. "The job was a grind, but I really do like Karey [Burke], Dana [Walden], and Peter [Rice], and they came in with... I felt appreciated, and that is important even if you have a job that people think of as glamorous, you want to feel like the company is behind you, and I do, and that was a big part of it. Also, a lot of my relatives would be unemployed if I quit the show."