Jimmy Kimmel's 4 Kids: Everything He's Said About Parenting
Jimmy Kimmel knows how to find humor in parenthood.
The talk show host has pulled everything from trying to create a song more annoying than "Baby Shark" to his infamous, annual Halloween candy prank. So where does Kimmel get his inspiration for his parenting puns? The comedian is a father of four.
Kimmel has two adult children with his first wife, Gina Maddy: daughter Katie, 31, and son Kevin, 29. (The former couple were married from 1988 to 2003.) Kimmel wed for a second time in 2013 to Molly McNearney, an executive producer and co-head writer on his talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!. The couple also have two children together: daughter Jane, 8, and son Billy, 5.
Prior to having Jane and Billy, Kimmel admitted to Ellen DeGeneres that he had "really forgotten everything" about raising babies. "It's funny because I was just with some friends who just had a baby. I was like, 'Oh, ya.' And there are new ways to do things," Kimmel said to DeGeneres.
In addition to having to learn new parenting techniques, Kimmel also confessed that he needed to get used to sharing his affection — and being an "old dad." (Kimmel was 46 when Jane was born.)
"I told my daughter [Katie], 'Listen, there's only so much love I have to give. You're gonna have to split it up with the new kid. There's a finite amount of love and that's that,' " he joked. "So [my children] are dealing with it, but it is very weird at my age to, you know … I'm going to be one of those old dads."
One benefit of having older children was that it gave Kimmel experience to draw from with his younger two. In 2016, Kimmel shared with PEOPLE how the experience of parenting was different the second time around, saying, "I'm more patient, I'm more confident."
But for all of his confidence in parenting Jane and Billy, Kimmel admitted that the two little ones have him wrapped around their fingers. "They are very funny," Kimmel told PEOPLE exclusively about his children with McNearney. "Well, they have no respect for me whatsoever. They make fun of me. They're just goofballs."
Learn all about Jimmy Kimmel's four children — Katie, Kevin, Jane and Billy — below.
Katie Kimmel, 31
Kimmel and his first wife welcomed their first child — a daughter named Katharine — on Aug. 28, 1991, in Tampa, Florida. The talk-show host was just 24 years old at the time and the young parents struggled to make ends meet, Kimmel later recalled to Vulture. When Katie was born, Kimmel lost his job working in morning radio in Tampa and found a new one in Palm Springs, California.
"We moved across the country, and I would work from four in the morning till around 11 in the morning, and at the time my ex-wife worked too," Kimmel explained. "So I'd pick Katie up from daycare as quickly as I could, because we couldn't afford the $5 an hour to keep her there longer."
He added, "I'd have her all day till 6 or 6:30, when my ex-wife got home. That was a hard schedule. I was exhausted all the time … I used to beg Katie to go to sleep, almost in tears, just so I could take a nap."
Kimmel was also candid about the stresses he felt when Katie was young. "Most of the pressure I felt with Katie came from me being a 25-year-old guy who had to keep the family afloat," he said. "It was not easy."
As Katie has grown into an adult herself, Kimmel has been supportive of her own creative career path. She received her BFA from The School of Art Institute of Chicago in 2015, moved to California to work as an artist after graduation and has been selling her own home goods, apparel and artwork since 2017. That same year, Kimmel defended his daughter's work when he accused the clothing brand Reformation of copying her designs.
"Scumbag move by @reformationx stealing ideas from a young artist (who happens to be my daughter @katiekimmel)," he wrote on Twitter, shortly after Reformation had posted an Instagram of their designs.
Other social media messages referring to his eldest child have been more light-hearted. Kimmel posted on Instagram in August 2021, sharing a photo of himself with Katie as a baby to commemorate her 30th birthday.
"Happy 30th birthday to this talented and delightful baby @katiekimmel (who no longer fits on my head) I am so proud of what a great person you've become. Thanks for making me a Dad, Little Head," Kimmel wrote in the caption.
Shortly after her 30th birthday, Katie wed her longtime partner Will Logsdon in September 2021. Kimmel made an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show shortly before the ceremony and opened up about what it felt like to be the father of the bride.
"She actually turned 30 two weeks ago, which is strange to have a 30-year-old daughter," Kimmel said to DeGeneres. "And she is getting married this weekend, as a matter of fact, which is a big deal."
Kimmel also said he approves of his daughter's new husband. "I'll tell you, the guy is great," he shared. "His name is Will and he's a great guy. And if he wasn't, he'd be dead right now … That's how we operate in my family."
Kevin Kimmel, 29
On Sept. 19, 1993, Kimmel's second child — a son named Kevin — was born. Kevin, along with his older sister Katie, grew up prior to Kimmel's major success as a comedian and television host.
"I didn't make any money when I was in radio and I got fired a lot," Kimmel told PEOPLE about his experience as a young parent. "It's stressful enough to get fired and have to move to another town, but when you have little kids, it's even more stressful."
But Kevin — who appears to have inherited his father's sense of humor — has joked about his modest childhood on Instagram. He posted a photo of himself holding a tabloid with the headline "Hollywood's Richest Kids" in August 2021. The caption reads: "I'm so f- - - - - - embarrassed rn, I didn't even make the top 10."
Though Kimmel's work schedule may have been less busy when Katie and Kevin were growing up, it was still a struggle to spend quality time with his two older children — purely out of stress and exhaustion. The late-night host told Vulture in 2017 that he didn't miss those early, tiring days.
"You want to have quality time with them — it's much harder for parents who are with their kids 24/7 to enjoy that time together," Kimmel confessed.
As adults, Kevin — who works in television doing sound and as a production assistant — and Kimmel are able to spend more of that quality time together. Kevin has posted photos on his Instagram of the two playing baseball, fishing and sitting courtside at NBA games. Kevin married his wife Nicole at his father's fly fishing lodge in Idaho in September 2022.
Jane Kimmel, 8
Jimmy Kimmel Instagram
Kimmel's second wife, McNearney, gave birth to their first child together — a daughter named Jane — on July 10, 2014, in Los Angeles. Kimmel announced the birth via Twitter, and then spoke more in-depth about Jane's arrival on Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
"We had a little girl, we named her after my grandmother — her name is Grandma Kimmel," Jimmy shared in his opening monologue. "She weighed 6 lbs., 1 oz. at birth. Twenty inches long, just above the legal limit — sometimes, they make you throw them back."
The late-night host added, "I've been taking somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 pictures of her a day. She thinks I'm with TMZ now."
Though Kimmel was initially "nervous" about having another baby, he quickly found out there was nothing to worry about. He told PEOPLE in October 2015 that parenting 15-month-old Jane was "really great." He added, "It does add a little bit of joy to each day. Maybe more than a little bit."
Even throughout toddlerhood with Jane, Kimmel always focused on the positive side of parenting. "Everything's great about it — even the bad things are great," he told PEOPLE in 2016 when Jane was 2 years old. "When I come home, the level of excitement is something that you really can only get from a pet. She goes crazy."
Kimmel even managed to find the humor in potty training Jane. "She'll only go to the potty on the trampoline, which is insane," he shared. "But that's her. She's a weird kid."
Jane has since grown to share her father's interests in politics and comedy, even as a young girl. During the 2020 Presidential election, Kimmel revealed to DeGeneres that 6-year-old Jane was just as invested in the outcome as he was.
"My daughter actually, my daughter is 6 years old, and she was watching. We had CNN on for like four days in a row," the proud dad said. "She's very interested in what's going on and she feels like she has a stake in it."
As for her comedy skills, Jane put them on display with her Father's Day card for Kimmel in 2021. "Happy... Farters-Day" Jane wrote on the outside of the card. She illustrated her point with a drawing of a person's buttocks and an angry green cloud. Kimmel shared Jane's artistic creation — and funny phrasing — on Instagram. "My 6 yr old daughter Jane might have a future at Hallmark," Kimmel joked in the caption of his post.
Kimmel continues to share adorable stories about Jane as she grows up and hits more milestones. In September 2022, the comedian revealed that his youngest daughter had received her first visit from the tooth fairy — and it was a lucrative one.
"I forgot and I had to throw a much too large $20 bill under her bed because that's all I had," Kimmel told PEOPLE exclusively. "We had to explain, 'Oh, it's the first tooth. Don't expect $20 every time.' "
He added, "My daughter is very precocious."
Billy Kimmel, 5
Jimmy Kimmel Instagram
Kimmel's youngest child, son William John "Billy" Kimmel, was born on April 21, 2017, in L.A. Two weeks after his birth, Kimmel tearfully revealed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! that Billy — who is named after Kimmel's longtime TV partner Guillermo — underwent open-heart surgery at just 3 days old.
"We call him Billy. Six pushes, he was out. He appeared a normal healthy baby," Kimmel began. He went on to describe how a few hours after Billy was born, it was discovered that he had a congenital heart condition called tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia. "Basically, the pulmonary valve was completely blocked and he has a hole in the wall between the left and right sides of his heart," the comedian explained.
Even in the emotional monologue, Kimmel was still able to crack a joke. "Poor kid. Not only did he get a bad heart, he got my face," he said.
Billy was able to leave the hospital six days after he was born. Since Billy's birth and operation, Kimmel has continued to provide health updates on his youngest child. When Billy was 3 months old, Kimmel told The Hollywood Reporter that his resilient son was "doing great." In December of that same year, 7-month-old Billy made an appearance on Live! following his second heart surgery.
"Billy is doing great, by the way. He has one more surgery — this is amazing — he had an operation a week ago. They say he'll probably be on track to win at least a bronze medal at the Olympics in 2036," Kimmel shared.
Despite Billy's successful surgeries, the experience during his first year of life was an emotional one for Kimmel and McNearney. Kimmel told Oprah Winfrey in 2018, "There were secrets we kept from each other that we revealed only after the second surgery. The biggest one was that, I think subconsciously, we didn't want to get too close to the baby because we didn't know what was going to happen."
Over the years, Kimmel has taken each birthday to express how "grateful" he and McNearney are — not only for Billy's health but also for the nurses and doctors who treated him.
Kimmel has also become increasingly outspoken for affordable healthcare since Billy's birth and surgeries (which the 5-year-old has "almost no interest" in learning about, Kimmel says). Kimmel hopes that Billy remains in that same state of blissful ignorance as he continues to grow up. "My problems and my worries shouldn't be his problems or his worries," the late-night host said. "I think he's going to have enough to worry about growing up with this questionable heart in his body, and I just want him to worry about hitting a home run in Little League."