Jimmy Kimmel took his ABC show to Austin, Texas, for the week to celebrate the annual SXSW festival.
Welcomed by an audience of 2,400 of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” fans, including tons of locals who gave the latenight host restaurant recommendations during the commercial breaks, Kimmel launched his first show of the week by telling the audience about his fondness for Austin — and the food the city has to offer.
“We’re here for a whole week because that’s how long it takes to get to the front of the line at Franklins,” Kimmel joked of a popular barbecue house in Austin. He added that, in just his first few days down South, he’s indulged in burgers, queso, banana cream pie and a fair amount of alcohol.
“This town turns you into an animal,” he said.
In the first video sketch of the night, Kimmel’s sidekick Guillermo stepped on a scale at the Austin airport, weighing in at 192.4 lbs. Kimmel announced that the show will donate $2,000 to local charity, Urban Roots, for every pound he gains at the festival.
Returning to Austin for the second year in a row, Kimmel — who also had a panel at SXSW over the weekend — told the audience at the Long Center for Performing Arts that coming back to Texas was his choice after meeting with his “Live” team about where to take his show on the road next. “I was like, ‘Can’t we just go back to Austin?'”
As for the fest’s growing popularity, Kimmel commented on the increasing traffic that has caused a bit of an uproar among the locals.
“That’s what it’s like to live in L.A. every year,” said the comedian who also poked fun at the amount of facial hair he’s seen in Austin. “It’s like a swarm of hipster locusts.”
Speaking of beards, Matthew McConaughey pre-filmed a sketch with Kimmel in which the two guys visit a local VHS store to create a commercial. “Start dreaming, stop streaming,” McConaughey said in the video, which brought on tons of laughter from the studio audience, including this Variety reporter.
Kimmel’s first guest of the week, Kevin Hart, stopped by the vibrant set to promote his upcoming film with Will Ferrell, “Get Hard,” which screened at SXSW.
Hart told Kimmel that he trained with the football team at the University of Texas over the weekend and the workout was so tough that he vomited and ran away from the field.
“You’re the only person to visit Austin and throw up from exercise,” Kimmel quipped.
Hart also spoke on the Justin Bieber roast, which he hosted this past weekend.
“It went a little rough. I’m not gonna lie,” he said. “There were some moments where I was like Justin is going to cry. I kept pointing at him like, ‘You better hold it back, boy! Don’t let those cameras see it coming down.'”
Brad Paisley was the second guest and first musical performer of the week, singing from his new album, “Moonshine in the Trunk.”
Paisley dissed NBC news anchor Brian Williams when Kimmel jokingly accused him of lying during his interview: “At least I didn’t say we were shot at.”
This week, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” will also welcome Bill Murray, Willie Nelson, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Robert Rodriguez, Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys, the cast of “The Walking Dead,” and musical guests Spoon, James Bay, the Weeknd and Kanye West.