Stephen A. Smith Could Replace Jimmy Kimmel When He Leaves Late Night In Two Years

Stephen A. Smith
Jimmy Kimmel Live

Could Stephen A. Smith really make the debate-to-late (night) jump?

As you can see, I was trying to work in a fun rhyme there, and it almost worked out perfectly. What I was trying to allude to with that is the possibility of the longtime ESPN and sports debate personality Stephen A. Smith making the move to the world of late night television.

If the stars aligned, and there’s at least a chance that they do, Smith could attempt to take over for Jimmy Kimmel when his contract with ABC expires in 2026. Kimmel has hosted his late night show for over 20 years, and most recently made headlines for his feud with Aaron Rodgers.

The longtime talk show host has been open about his desire to move on from Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and told the Los Angeles Times this past week:

“I think this is my final contract. In some moments, I think, ‘I cannot wait until my contract is over.’

But then, I take the summer off or I go on strike, and you start going, ‘Yeah, I miss the fun stuff.’ (Two more years) seems pretty good. That seems like enough.”

Two more years, huh?

That would give plenty of time for a certain someone that’s interested in the job to get everything in order. Stephen A., who is very much used to being on TV, has expressed his feeling towards a potential late night talk show gig in the past.

And funny enough, Smith’s contract with ESPN also expires around the same time as Kimmel’s. With Stephen A. already in the “family” of ABC and ESPN, it wouldn’t take much to get a potential contract situated.

Plus, the sports personality would love to do the job, and thinks he’d be really good at it, as he told Fox News last summer:

“I am interested in doing late night. I would love to be the heir apparent to Jimmy Kimmel. I believe I could do it.

I would throw everybody for a loop, my politics would throw people off because I’d be fair to everybody and I’d listen to everybody.

It wouldn’t be one-sided, I’m not a one-sided kind of guy. I’m one-sided on issues, I’m not one-sided on ideology.”

When Stephen A. puts its like that, I’m sure there would be a lot of people interested in seeing what he could do with the late night job.

The only other person that really does both-sided political jokes is Jon Stewart, and he only just recently came back into the late night realm (sort of) to host The Daily Show one night a week.

I’d at least be interested in seeing how Stephen A. Smith would do as a late night host, and whether or not he could get away from debating people on television all day long. He’s at least got some prior late night hosting experience from when he filled in for Jimmy Kimmel two years ago:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock