44-year-old Molly McNearney is an American screenwriter, producer, and actress popularly known as the wife of Jimmy Kimmel, one of the strongest forces to reckon with in late-night television.
However, a lot of people are unaware of the fact that she helped him rise to that point being the co-head writer of his show, Jimmy Kimmel Live! Eager to discover how the duo went from being co-workers to lifelong partners? Well, we’ll definitely tell you about it but first, let’s get to know Molly McNearney, the other half of Jimmy Kimmel.
Molly McNearney Was Born In Missouri’s Second-Largest City
Molly McNearney was born on March 5, 1978, in St Louis, Missouri, USA, and is of white ethnicity. She is the second child of Michael and Michelle McNearney’s three children, the other two being her older brother named Michael McNearney, Jr., who was born in 1976, and her younger sister, Kelly McNearney, born three years after her. Now a Senior Account Executive with Google, Molly’s sister, Kelly, was previously the Digital Account Executive at ESPN.
As a child, Molly began her academic journey at St. Clare of Assisi Elementary School. During her time at the private Catholic school located in Chesterfield, her fourth-grade teacher kindled her interest in writing. After her elementary education, she proceeded to an all-girls high school known as St. Joseph’s Academy and while there, her desire to become a journalist was born.
To make this a reality, Molly subsequently, enrolled at Kansas University’s William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications for her higher education. She later graduated with a degree in advertising in 2000.
Just Like Her Husband, Molly Also Has A Successful Career
A woman of many abilities, Molly McNearney is a writer and a producer. She has been working on Jimmy Kimmel Live! right from the inception of the show in 2003 and is so good at her job that she has earned several awards from the Writer’s Guild of America. She has also received ten Emmy Award nominations consecutively from 2013 to 2021. But before we continue, let’s go back to how she came to be on this path.
As an undergraduate at Kansas University, Molly went on a trip to the Chicago-based improvisational comedy enterprise called The Second City with some of her friends. After watching a comedy show, it dawned on her that she had a flair for comedy. Consequently, by the time she graduated from college, she moved to Chicago and enrolled as a performer and sketch writer in Second City.
She eventually moved to Los Angeles not because she got a job there, but because she wanted to be closer to her boyfriend with whom she was in a long-distance relationship. Unfortunately, their relationship packed up shortly after she moved there and she knew no one else in the city. As fate may have it, Molly McNearney got to know about a vacancy at Jimmy Kimmel Live! through an acquaintance and her career took off from there.
She Started At The Botton and Rose Through The Ranks
Molly McNearney began her journey on the late-night TV show as an assistant to the executive producer. However, her first few years working in that position were not the most fascinating, as she was mostly responsible for making plans for her boss and doing coffee runs. By the time she got tired of running errands for others, Molly decided it was time to rise to a higher level.
She spoke to the head writer, asking for an opportunity to work with the writing team, and was given the writer’s assistant position. For some time, she had a go at interviewing bands, segment producing, and doing pre-interviews with the guests, but she still preferred being a writer’s assistant. When she became very confident in her abilities as a writer after pitching many successful ideas, Molly took the bull by the horn.
She approached Jimmy Kimmel and asked to be promoted. Half a year later, she was promoted to the position of a writer (in 2006) on the show. From then on, she has risen continuously through the ranks, becoming the show’s co-head writer in 2008 and co-executive producer in 2021. Since becoming a co-head writer, Molly has been writing Jimmy’s jokes and monologues alongside other head writers.
The Jimmy Kimmel Live! Writer Also Has A Lot Going on Outside The Show
Apart from the Jimmy Kimmel Live! late-night show McNearney’s career thrives also thrives. While speaking with Glamor in 2014, she stated that she loved her job, but added that she believed it would be wise for her to try her hands at new things. “I’ve been here for 10 years now, but I’d like to write for different formats — a screenplay, a script, a sitcom, something different,” Molly said.
It turned out that she really meant what she said, as she has since delved into other kinds of writing, serving as a writer for some of America’s most popular award shows as well as some notable political events. She also went a step further by breaking into acting. Below are her credits outside the popular late-night show.
As a Writer
- Big Night of Stars (2008)
- Primetime Emmy Awards (2012, 2016, 2020)
- White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner (2012)
- The Oscars (2017-2018)
As a producer
- The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards (2020)
As an Actress
- Fun Mom Dinner as Enthusiastic Mom (2017)
- Dumplin’ as Delia Shepherd (2018)
- Murder Mystery as Lorraine (2019)
Molly also appears on Jimmy Kimmel Live! from time to time. In February 2021, she served as the host of a game of “Win Jimmy’s Crap” with people on the street in a bid to get rid of some of Jimmy’s stuff, which was too much at home. She also made an appearance in the six-part docuseries The Story of Late Night as herself. Outside her work, the talented writer is also a human rights activist for children’s healthcare.
Molly McNearney and Jimmy Kimmel Started Off As Just Co-Workers
Judging by how fond of each other Molly and her husband are, one may never have guessed that they got off on the wrong foot. In a 2014 interview with Glamour, Molly revealed that her boss-turned-husband insulted her when they first met. This was in early 2000 when the executive producer (EP) of Jimmy’s show introduced her to him as his (the executive producer’s) new assistant.
According to her, the executive producer brought her to the host’s office and said, “This is Molly; she’s my new assistant,” but Jimmy barely looked ups from his desk. He eventually raised his head to look at Molly when the EP mentioned that she competes in triathlons. However, the words that came out of his mouth were the least expected: “That is really stupid! What a waste of time,” he said. This remained the first and only thing the TV star said to Molly all through her first year working there.
With the passage of time though, things began to change between the duo, thanks to an arrangement at work that gave room for all the writers to socialize at the end of the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show.
They Went From Being Friends To Being Romantic Partners In 2009
Molly and Jimmy came to like each other as friends but according to Molly, she never had any inclination that they would end up becoming husband and wife. “I had worked for him for so long, and I was in a relationship and he was in a relationship, so it never occurred to me”. She was also conscious of the workplace rule that says “you don’t date your boss.”
That notwithstanding, the duo later transitioned from friends to lovers in late 2009. This was how it happened…In the course of one of the writers’ meetings, the late-night champion, who’s a foodie, asked everyone, including Molly, to mention their favorite foods. Not long after, he invited her to his house and treated her to all her favorite dishes- gnocchi pasta, pizza, cheeseburger, a BLT, and crab claws, all prepared by him from scratch!
“I couldn’t believe it,” Molly told Glamour. At that point, she realized how very thoughtful and generous Jimmy really was and that sealed the deal.
The Power Couple Got Engaged In 2013 And Wedded The Following Year
After three years of dating, Molly McNearney and the late-night TV star got engaged in August 2012 while they were vacationing in Kruger National Park, South Africa. They later got married on 13 July 2013, in Ojai, California, in a star-studded wedding attended by 300 guests, including the who is who in the entertainment circle such as Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, and Matt Damon.
It was, however, not like any other wedding, as it kicked off with Jimmy, a comedian and known prankster being pranked. Instead of Molly, plus-sized American actress, Gabourey Sidibe, wore a flowing white dress and veil and walked down the aisle to meet the groom. This threw everyone, including Jimmy, into a feat of laughter.
It was only after the commotion died down that the real bride emerged. Asked about it, Molly with her exceptional sense of humor, said she thought it would be a comedic relief to her hubby who seemed nervous when they were writing their vows. In the 2014 interview with Glamor magazine, she said, “for a guy who is on TV every night, he doesn’t like to have a lot of attention on him, especially when it’s showing his emotional, vulnerable side. I thought I need to give him some comedic relief, and no one does that better for him than Gabby.”
The colleague-turned-couple has remained together since they said their vows with most people attributing the success of their relationship so far to their strong sense of humor.
How Does The Screenwriter Balance Work and Being Married To Her Boss?
It’s very easy to disrespect boundaries and get a lot of things mixed up when your boss happens to be your spouse. But that’s not the case with Molly and her husband, as they’ve been able to separate their relationship and family life from their work life.
Even though they work for the same company, have their offices very close to each other, and leave for work at about the same time, the couple still chooses to drive to work in their individual cars. “I like to keep it separate, and I’m very good at compartmentalizing work,” Molly told Glamour in 2014.
She went further to state that Jimmy was her boss at 10 A.M., not her husband but at home their relationship is different- he becomes a husband and a father.
Molly McNearney Is A Mother Of Two
Molly has two children with Jimmy. The first, a daughter named Jane, was born on the 10th of July 2014 and three years after, precisely on April 21, 2017, they welcomed their 2nd child, son William John ‘Billy’ Kimmel. Although John was born with rare congenital heart disease, he underwent a series of surgeries that have restored his health.
Both of the couple’s children are featured on their father’s show once in a while, even though none of them thinks that he is funny. Speaking to Closer Weekly in 2019, Kimmel said he keeps telling them he’s this big funny television star, but they do not appear to care.
The A-list screenwriter is also a stepmother to Jimmy’s two children – Katherine and Kelvin- from his first marriage to Gina Maddy. Asked about her relationship with her stepchildren, Molly told Glamour that she is best friends with Katherine. She has been quoted saying “I text his daughter daily, and she’s one of my favorite people.” She also described Kelvin as a sweetheart, adding that she was so lucky to have them in her life.
Molly McNearney is the epitome of the modern-day working mother. She juggles between her work life and family. She fulfills her wifely duties, motherly duties, and still manages to deliver top-quality work that viewers can watch and have a hearty laugh. She is a role model to working mothers across the USA and the world as well. She and her husband deserve every good thing that comes their way and more.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Old is Molly McNearney?
Molly is 44 years old. She was born on 5 March 1978.
How Tall is Molly McNearney?
She stands at 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m) and has a bodyweight of 63 kg. Molly also has blonde hair and brown eyes.
What is Molly McNearney’s Net Worth?
The Jimmy Kimmel Live! behind-the-scene star has an estimated net worth of $20 million, a greater part of which came from her career.
Where is Molly McNearney from?
Molly McNearney is from St Louis, Missouri, USA.
When did Molly McNearney Become Jimmy Kimmel’s Wife?
She officially became Jimmy Kimmel’s wife on 13 July 2013, after a star-studded wedding that took place in Ojai, California.
What does Molly Mcnerney Do for a Living?
The St Louis native is a screenwriter, producer, and occasional actress. She is most known for being a co-head writer on Jimmy Kimmel Live! late-night TV show.
Does Molly Mcnerney work with Jimmy Kimmel?
Molly and Kimmel have known each other longer professionally than they have personally. Molly has been part of the team of writers that write his jokes and monologues since 2008