Jimmy Kimmel Announces Brief Absence from His Late-Night Show After Positive COVID-19 Diagnosis

Comedian Mike Birbiglia will host Jimmy Kimmel's eponymous talk show amid his absence

Jimmy Kimmel
Photo: Todd Owyoung/NBC/Getty

Jimmy Kimmel will be taking some time away from his eponymous talk show to recover from COVID-19.

On Monday, the 54-year-old TV personality disclosed his diagnosis on Twitter and Instagram. Kimmel also confirmed that comedian Mike Birbiglia will take over in his absence, beginning with Tuesday's episode featuring guests Tom Cruise and Iliza Shlesinger.

"Our daughter brought us covid (even though we specifically asked her not to)," Kimmel joked.

"All feeling fine, I am double vaxxed and boosted but the show must not go on," he continued. "Apologies to @TomCruise & @iliza and thanks to Mike Birbiglia @birbigs who'll be filling in for me starting tomorrow night."

After the talk show host shared his announcement, Birbiglia, 43, wished the Kimmel family well and teased his upcoming hosting stint on Jimmy Kimmel Live!

"I must be the first person to ever deplane a Southwest Airlines flight and find out they're guest-hosting a late night talk show," he joked in a tweet. "Sending love to the Kimmels. See you on the TV tomorrow, friends. ❤️."

Beneath Kimmel's Instagram post, Birbiglia added that he's "honored to sit in" for the veteran TV host.

Kimmel has been hosting Jimmy Kimmel Live! for ABC since 2003. In 2019, he renewed his contract with the network through 2022 — a move that will keep him hosting through 2022.

Jimmy Kimmel
Todd Owyoung/NBC/Getty

Previously, Kimmel has admitted to contemplating the end of his namesake program.

"I know I will do the show for another three years," he told Variety in 2017 ahead of his 2019 contract renewal. "It's possible that will be it. My wife's pregnant. At a certain point, I'd like to have a little more free time. I have very little free time as it is."

Kimmel continued, "I think this job is a grind, and best-case scenario, a marathon. I want to go out on my own terms. If I ever feel like we're repeating ourselves, I think it's a good indication that it's time."

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments.

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