KROQ DJ Bean recollects days with ‘Jimmy the Sports Guy’

'Jimmy Kimmel Live' @ 10

After working at a handful of radio stations, Jimmy Kimmel got a job at L.A. alternative music station KROQ in 1994. He became known as “Jimmy the Sports Guy” and worked with the morning team of Kevin and Bean for five years. The pair (Kevin Ryder and Gene Baxter) remain good friends with Kimmel. Bean, as he is best known, spoke with Variety about Kimmel’s time at KROQ.

“He puts comedy first. He’s going to do whatever bit he wants as long as he thinks it’s funny. if somebody doesn’t agree, he’ll still think it’s worth doing.”

“Jimmy and Adam (Carolla) were peas in a pod. They often said they were just gay sex away from being a couple. They love each other so much. It was such happenstance that they met at the right place, at the right time. We came up with this crazy idea of a boxing battle between Jimmy and another guy on the show, and Adam was the trainer for Jimmy or the other guy. I can’t remember, but there’s was instant chemistry between the two of them. They have the comic sensibilities and cracked each other up. ‘The Man Show’ was an outgrowth of that.”

“I heard Jimmy say he moved his whole family to start working on our show, but we didn’t know he would be there full time. It was an ‘Uh oh’ moment. The truth is we loved having funny people around us. We were open to new ideas and to do things in a different way.”

“We just wanted the show to be good. Our boss liked Jimmy a lot but didn’t see him as an on-air talent. He thought he was a behind-the-scenes guy. We had to fight to get him as an on-air guy. I think Jimmy looked at sports as a way to get comedy on the air. It was a great jumping off point for him.”

“Back in those days when we were in Burbank, we would all go to eat after the shows and open up the paper for new ideas. Adam would spend time with us and he came up with ideas. So much came out of those meals.”

“You will never find anyone who works harder than Jimmy, and he’s a genuinely nice guy. I think that’s evident in the show he has now. No one has changed less from his success. He still sends thank you cards.”

“Jimmy has a funny relationship with sleep. He’s always tired. He’s a guy that it takes two months for him to get used to the time change.”

Jimmy Kimmel Live @ 10
Midnight maven Kimmel moves up | Top moments on ‘JKL’ | Kimmel doesn’t get caught up in ratings race | Eric Stonestreet on Kimmel | Ben Stein on Kimmel | KROQ DJ Bean on Kimmel | Politics, Primetime Emmys just part of busy year
Watch Jimmy Kimmel receive his star on the Walk of Fame