Jimmy Kimmel and Molly McNearney attend The Walt Disney Company Emmy Awards Party at Otium on January 15, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.
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Who Is Jimmy Kimmel's Wife? Meet the Oscar Host's Other Half: Molly McNearney

The Oscar host and writer/producer have been married for a decade.

It's been over a decade since late-night host Jimmy Kimmel and writer and producer Molly McNearney tied the knot, but even Kimmel's biggest fans don't know much about this unlikely love story. Most people are surprised to learn that their first meeting was hardly love at first sight. In fact, it was quite the opposite. 

McNearney was introduced to Kimmel in the early 2000s after landing a job as an assistant producer on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" When she recalls their first meeting, she shares that he insulted her in a brief interaction their only interaction that first year. It would be years before the two formed a friendship, and even longer before a romance would blossom. 

When Kimmel first met his future wife, he was in a relationship with comedian and actress Sarah Silverman. They started out as friends before they went on to date for seven years, becoming the golden couple in comedy. More than a romance, Kimmel and Silverman often collaborated professionally until they ultimately split in 2009. Since then, they've managed to maintain a friendship, despite each moving on with other partners. 

In 2010, McNearney also found herself single, allowing her friendship with Kimmel to develop into something more. Let's take a look at how their relationship developed over the years. Here's everything we know about Jimmy Kimmel's wife and their family life. 

Kimmel Insulted McNearney When They Met

BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 12: Jimmy Kimmel and Molly McNearney attend the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts on March 12, 2023 in Beverly Hills, California.

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Kimmel and McNearney's first interaction was hardly a meet-cute. They met in Kimmel's office on the set of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" She recalled the moment in an interview with Glamour

"When I first met him, he insulted me! The executive producer brought me into his office and said, 'This is Molly. She's my new assistant.' Jimmy barely looked up from his desk until my EP said, 'She competes in triathlons,' and then Jimmy looked up at me and said, 'That is really stupid! What a waste of time.' [Laughs] That was the first and only thing he probably said to me the entire first year of working there."

While Kimmel's insult may have had a lasting impression, sparks didn't fly between the two during that first meeting. 

While the two would eventually develop a romance, when they first met, McNearney didn't see Kimmel as anything more than her boss. According to her interview with Glamour, her husband "gets a little insulted" when she says she never once thought of him romantically over the years they worked together.

"I had worked for him for so long, and I was in a relationship and he was in a relationship, so it never occurred to me. And that's Workplace 101. You don't date your boss."

Despite there being no initial interest, a friendship naturally developed. 

McNearney's Promotion Led To More Time With Kimmel

As the years passed, McNearney's career took off, and she became co-head writer of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" This meant they were spending more time together, as all of the writers would hang out after the show. It wasn't long before they became good friends.

"All the writers would socialize after the show, and we would just hang out more and more. We really liked each other as friends, and then it just kind of turned."

Their relationship became something more after Kimmel took special notice of McNearney's favorite meals. 

Kimmel Won Over McNearney Through Her Stomach

To win McNearney's heart, Kimmel first won over her stomach. In order to get the writer to think of him as more than her boss, the late-night host prepared a special dinner made up of all her favorite foods. She recalled a writer's meeting when Kimmel asked everyone what their five favorite foods were. McNearney shared that her favorites were BLTs, pizza, gnocchi pasta, cheeseburgers and crab claws, which her future husband kept in mind.

"Shortly after, he had invited me to his house, and I was very nervous. I mean, this is my boss. I was thinking, 'I gotta be careful here.' He opens the door, and the whole house smelled delicious. I walked in, and there was a pizza, a BLT, crab claws, cheeseburger and gnocchi. He had made them all from scratch. I couldn't believe it, and I realized how incredibly thoughtful and generous he really was."

This sealed the deal for McNearney, and a romantic relationship soon followed. 

Kimmel Went out of His Way to Make McNearney Comfortable

Jimmy Kimmel and Molly McNearney at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards held at Microsoft Theater on September 12, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.

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Kimmel's attention to detail continued to make an impression on McNearney. At the beginning of their relationship, she would often go back and forth between his place and hers, lugging all of her toiletries with her. After noticing he was taking an unusually long time in her bathroom, which she chalked up to a stomach ache, he surprised her with a thoughtful gift. 

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly according to People, McNearney shared:

"A few days later, he presented me with this big box that had two of everything in my makeup and Dopp kit, because he saw that I was lugging stuff back and forth, and he wanted me to be comfortable in his home. He was in the bathroom for that hour and a half with my bag going through every single thing: every lotion, razor, deodorant, shampoo, makeup."

His extra effort didn't go unnoticed, and they soon took their relationship to the next level. 

Kimmel and McNearney Got Married In 2013

Kimmel proposed on vacation at South Africa's Kruger National Park in 2012, and the couple began planning their star-studded wedding. Of course, they couldn't go through their wedding day without adding a bit of humor. In response to Kimmel's concern that he'd cry at the altar, McNearney enlisted "American Horror Story" actress Gabourey Sidibe to help her prank her hubby-to-be. She shared her plans in her interview with Glamour:

"For a guy who is on TV every night, he doesn't actually like to have a lot of attention on him, especially when it's showing his emotional, vulnerable side. I thought, I need to give him some comedic relief, and there is no one that does that better for him than Gabby. I called her, she got on a plane, and our wardrobe guy on the show made her a wedding dress."

Sidibe walked down the aisle ahead of McNearney, causing confusion before guests realized it was a prank. According to E! News, while appearing on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" Sidibe recalled how she felt walking down the aisle: "I was so afraid that someone was going to run and tackle me, like, 'Not Molly's day!'" Fortunately, that didn't happen. 

The Couple Have Two Children Together

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 11: William Kimmel, Jimmy Kimmel, Jane Kimmel, and Molly McNearney arrive to the Los Angeles premiere of Disney and Pixar's "Toy Story 4" held on June 11, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

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Kimmel has two older children from his previous marriage to Gina Maddy, whom he divorced in 2002 after 14 years of marriage. He also has two kids with McNearney: a daughter, Jane, who was born in 2014, followed by son William "Billy" John in 2017. 

Billy was born with a rare congenital heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot, or TOF, with pulmonary atresia. Kimmel has been open about his son's condition and treatment over the years, starting with Billy's successful surgery just three days after being born.

McNearney Continues to Succeed in the Entertainment Industry

Since starting her career as an assistant producer on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!"McNearney has won three Prime Time Emmy awards and received nominations for 12 others. She also wrote and produced for the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Oscars, including the 2023 Oscars hosted by Kimmel. 

McNearney has also dabbled in acting, appearing in "Murder Mystery" alongside Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston, and Aniston's film "Dumplin'." She still works alongside her husband on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" but looks forward to the day she'll be able to ask him about his day without already knowing his answer. 

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