Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel went ultra-meta on Friday during Kimmel’s appearance on CBS’ “The Late Show” with an extended bit revolving around their mutual agent, James Dixon of WME-owned Dixon Talent.
Kimmel, host of ABC’s rival “Jimmy Kimmel Live” late-night franchise, paid a visit to “Late Show” as he is preparing for a run of shows next week from the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He congratulated Colbert on his start so far but chided the “Late Show” host for taking next week off after six weeks behind the desk.
“Everybody works more than six weeks in a row,” Kimmel said with mock exasperation. Colbert responded: “You should get a better agent.”
That led into extended banter between the two about the man they know as James “Baby Doll” Dixon, or Baby for short, as Kimmel said. They joked about Dixon’s perpetual tan, his chain-smoking (“It’s a race between his skin and his lungs as to who will get cancer first,” Colbert joked) and his indulgence in cologne. Colbert also showed off a stylized lithograph print of Dixon that Kimmel crafted as a gift for Colbert a few years ago. “You’re an artist,” Colbert said.
The pair also noted Dixon’s unusual dominance in representing top late-night talent with a roster that includes Jon Stewart and Carson Daly. “He’s the real king of late-night,” Colbert said.
The two joked about the ephemeral nature of their jobs and not being able to remember what happened the previous night on their shows. “We do nothing,” Kimmel said. When each day’s taping is over, “we’ve made nothing, we’ve done nothing. People laugh and then don’t ever think about it again.”
Colbert then disclosed that he’d challenged Kimmel to a pasta sauce cook off. The two presented their dishes to a special guest judge that turned out to be — of course — Dixon. Kimmel tried to curry favor by serving up his dish with a salad made of money and a big bowl of cigarettes.
But Dixon chose Colbert’s sauce as the better of the two, which prompted Kimmel to chase him around the stage in an effort to put him in a headlock.
The appearance seemed a surprising turn for an agent who has always maintained a low-profile in the media. Dixon has run a boutique outfit based in New York for nearly 15 years, and he’s maintained his autonomy even after selling to WME-IMG in January.
At the start of the show, Colbert noted the awkwardness of having one of his chief rivals on as a guest. Kimmel, Colbert joked, “hosts a fantastic show that airs at 12:35 every night on your DVR.”