Jimmy Kimmel says Brooklyn isn’t a punch line — chew on that, Portland!

Jimmy Kimmel says Brooklyn isn’t a punch line — chew on that, Portland!
Photo provided by Bob D’Amico

Live from Brooklyn, it’s Jimmy Kimmel!

The Brooklyn-born late night prince announced on Monday that he will return to his hometown in October to host “Jimmy Kimmel Live” from the Brooklyn Academy of Music in celebration of the Brooklyn Nets’ first game in the borough.

We don’t get it either — so we decided to pester him about it.

Aaron Short: Jimmy! Welcome to New York. Your show is coming to Brooklyn to coincide with the return of professional sports. Have you always been a Nets fan?

Jimmy Kimmel: I have not always been a Nets fan, but the fact that they’re playing in Brooklyn makes me more inclined to root for them.

AS: Why haven’t you moved back home yet?

JK: I have a job in California that keeps me occupied.

AS: Brooklyn has a long and prestigious comedic history. Woody Allen famously claimed he grew up under the Thunderbolt. Arthur Miller is from here. What’s it like following in their footsteps?

JK: It’s interesting how many funny people are from Brooklyn. Maybe it’s because everyone is piled on top of each other, you have to distinguish yourself in some way. The funniest people I know are from Brooklyn.

AS: Where are you from?

JK: I grew up in Mill Basin, on E. 64th Street and Avenue T. I went to PS 236 until I was in the fourth grade and my parents picked up and moved us to Las Vegas. My uncle Frank was a cop in Brooklyn and he decided to move there and get a job as a security guard at a casino and we followed him.

AS: When is the last time you hung out in Brooklyn and what did you do when you came here?

JK: I visit my relatives, Aunt Joanne and Uncle Tony. Typically when I’m there, it’s to visit family. We make a point of doing a lot of eating when we’re there.

AS: Where do you go?

JK: The Mill Basin Deli. There’s a f—ing great place we go to, I can’t remember the name of it.

AS: We’ll get back to that. Biggest difference between Los Angeles and Brooklyn?

JK: No one talks to each other in LA, whereas in Brooklyn, if you build a fence, everyone wants to know everything about it, and then you wind up with three similar fences. Everybody knew each other’s business in Brooklyn. It’s a double-edged sword, but ultimately I think it’s better. People watch each other’s kids. In LA, you can have neighbors for 20 years and never talk with them.

AS: Who is your favorite Brooklynite living or dead?

JK: Besides my family members, I have to go with Woody Allen.

AS: And your favorite Brooklyn rapper?

JK: I always liked the Beastie Boys a lot. Jay-Z obviously. I’ll go with those two.

AS: Is Brooklyn a punch line yet, the way Portland, Ore. is, or the state of Florida?

JK: No, Brooklyn is not a punch line, because if you use it as a punch line you will get punched by someone.

AS: What do you think about the Prospect Park bike lane?

JK: This is what people are upset about? A bike lane?

AS: Will your show have anything organic or artisanal in it?

JK: It’s a show, not a meal. I guess there will be human beings on it. You know there’s a great place in Brooklyn called Roberta’s. I love that place. They set up their lot next door, a go-kart track, which is fantastic. The food is great there. I love the overall feel of the place.

AS: Do you go DiFara’s or Grimaldi’s?

JK: Yeah! I’ve been to both of those places. One of our writers plays accordion at Grimaldi’s. A lot of our staff is from Brooklyn. Probably because a lot of my family is on the show.

AS: We love Bill Simmons, but he’s no longer a writer with you.

JK: Bill wouldn’t last two minutes in Brooklyn.

AS: So, any advice to help the Nets compete against the Knicks or the Lakers?

JK: Spend a lot of money, and spend it wisely.

AS: Who do you want to have on your show this fall?

JK: We want to get Chris Rock, hopefully David Letterman, Woody Allen, although it’s probably unrealistic.

AS: Spike Lee?

JK: Perhaps, Spike Lee.

Reach reporter Aaron Short at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2547.

A younger Jimmy Kimmel, back when he lived in Mill Basin.
Photo provided by Jimmy Kimmel Live