By Elizabeth C.
WILL FERRELL LITERALLY HAD THE KNIVES OUT FOR JIMMY KIMMEL WEDNESDAY WHEN the late night host showed up in his new 11:35 pm time slot on ABC.
Ferrell, along with Ryan Gosling, team up as QVC “Knife Guys” to pitch really sharp knives, I mean so sharp they’ll cut balloons, flan and cookie dough.
But somebody forgot to tell Ferrell that the studio was already booked.
“You might want to check the sign-up sheet,” Kimmel sniffs. “I didn’t even realize there was a sign-in sheet to be honest with you,” says Kimmel.
“Well, there is, and my name is on it.”
But when Kimmel says he’s in the middle of his show, Ferrell snaps, “I’ve got knives to sell Kimmel!”
When Kimmel tells him to proceed with his pitch, straight man Ryan Gosling joins Ferrel onstage and asks Kimmel pointedly, “What the hell are you doing here, Jimmy?”
That was obvious: trying to upset late night’s hierarchy by challenging NBC’s Jay Leno and CBS’ David Letterman head-on. ABC has promoting the new time slot hard. In addition to doing a cover story for Rolling Stones, posters of Kimmel’s face are being plastered all over urban areas in spots usually reserved for dropping albums. The goal is to grab the kiddies’ attention.
On Tuesday it looked like Letterman may be the biggest loser. “An average of around 3.1 million people checked out Kimmel’s first broadcast at 11:35 p.m. Tuesday on ABC — his second most watched episode ever,” the Washington Post‘s Lisa de Moraes reported. “But Jay clocked 3.3 million — and without any heavy lifting….[but] Kimmel did edge out his idol Dave, who snagged 2.8 million viewers.”
But the race tightened even further on Wednesday, when both Leno and Letterman beat Kimmel in raw numbers. But Kimmel proved his pull with the coveted 18-49 demo, the race was neck and neck.
Let’s keep this real though: who wins the race is all just a chimera. It’s always going to be someone else’s turn next. Sorry, Ferrell.