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James Hibberd

Kimmel Serves It Up

July 18, 2006 6:32 PM

For lunch on Tuesday, ABC rolled in some big guns to serve critics growing tired of the same Ritz-Carlton buffet fare.


Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel manned the grill at the barbecue lunch, no mean feat considering the 100-plus-degree heat.

Kimmel wasn’t alone at the “Kimmel-cue,” as ABC called it. “Jimmy Kimmel Live” regulars were manning the buffet line, including Kimmel’s childhood friend and current band leader Cleto, who helped me pick out a bun (whole wheat). Jimmy’s Uncle Sal, a staple on the show, tried to get me to go for some corn on the cob, but I passed for some fries.


“Rachael Ray doesn’t know anything,” Kimmel said as I waited for a burger (beef with Swiss cheese), referring to Ray’s own burger lunch stunt a few days earlier.


Kudos to Kimmel, who must be ABC’s most expensive lunch staffer.


After exuding what appeared to gallons of sweat standing over the grill (“Slap a couple waffles on my forehead,” he suggested), Kimmel came inside to introduce his helpers, who also included his Cousin Sal and former security guard-turned-show regular Guillermo. He got a big round of applause, which clearly amused Kimmel.


“Thank you for clapping for me for doing something menial,” he said.  


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