Jimmy Kimmel takes to the SXSW stage Saturday for a special behind-the-scenes conversation before his week of shows from the Long Center starts on Monday. He spoke with his former radio cohort Kevin Ryder from Los Angeles KROQ-FM’s Kevin and Bean show.
Photo by Suzanne Cordeiro / For American-Statesman

Dale Roe sent this dispatch from the SXSW field:

Jimmy Kimmel took a walk down memory lane Saturday at the Austin Convention Center. The ABC late night talk host, who is broadcasting his show from the Long Center starting Monday for a week, was interviewed before a capacity crowd by his old radio cohort Kevin Ryder from Los Angeles KROQ-FM’s Kevin and Bean show.

They reminisced about Kimmel’s radio days and explored his television career.

“My goal was never to host a late night talk show. My goal was to just continue watching late night talk shows,” Kimmel joked.

He had nothing but kind words for Austin when explaining why he wanted to bring his show here for a second year:

“I love it here. It’s the greatest place. The people are great. The town, the attention to detail here,” he said.

“The food — if you’re in L.A., we have a lot of Chilis and TGIFridays. Here, you see these great places with great neon signs. I’m from Las Vegas; I’m attracted to the desert. People open bars in their houses here.”

When asked about the man on the street pranks he likes to play on his show, Kimmel revealed that he comes from a long line of practical jokers.

“My mother used to lay on the floor and pretend to be dead until we cried,” he revealed. “I recently found out that her mother did it and her mother did it, too.

“My great grandmother laid on the floor pretending to be dead.”