Jimmy Kimmel, host of the ABC late-night talk series "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and the upcoming 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards, is engaged to girlfriend Molly McNearney, OnTheRedCarpet.com has learned.
The 44-year-old funnyman proposed to the 34-year-old, who is one of the head writers of his show, during a visit to South Africa's Kruger National Park, People magazine said. Kimmel's spokesperson confirmed the news to OnTheRedCarpet.com on Wednesday, August 15, but offered no further details.
"Thanks for your kind congratulations," Kimmel later said on his Twitter page. "My nuptials are impending as we speak. Say a prayer for @mollymcnearney - she has a rough road ahead."
McNearney had Tweeted jokes about their trip, starting on July 27, when she said: "Taking off for Kenya now for 2 weeks. If I die please remember me for never having watched a single Real Housewives of anything."
On August 8, she said: "Bad news from South Africa: the song from the Lion King ISN'T their national anthem. Get. Me. Out. Of. Here."
McNearney and Kimmel have been dating since at least October 2009, months after he and comedienne Sarah Silverman broke up.
Kimmel has been married once before - he and his first wife, Gina Maddy Kimmel, were together for almost 15 years before they divorced in 2003. They have two young adult children, Katie and Kevin.
McNearney is also a comedienne, but concentrates on improv rather than standup. She grew up in St. Louis and later moved to Chicago. In 2000, she began studying and performing comedy at the city's famous improv club Second City. She later relocated to Los Angeles, where she showcased her improv skills at the venue iOWest before she got a job writing for "Jimmy Kimmel Live!."
The series is nominated for an Emmy this year for Outstanding Variety Series. The show has won three Emmys in the past, including one for a celebrity parody video of "We Are The World" titled "I'm [Expletive] Matt Damon." The clip starred Silverman and spurred a spin-off, "I'm [Expletive] Ben Affleck."
Kimmel is hosting the Primetime Emmys ceremony for the first time. The show is set to air live from L.A. Live's Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, September 23 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on ABC.
Kimmel spoke to OnTheRedCarpet.com and other outlets at the network's Television Critics Association panel on Friday, July 27, about what viewers can expect to see at the Emmys. He said that "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" writers would help pen his scripts for the ceremony.