Molly McNearney is an American writer and producer who is a co-head writer of the ABC late-night talk show, 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!'. She is also the wife of the show’s host and comedian, Jimmy Kimmel. She played a crucial role in rejuvenating the show in the past decade and created the well-received segment, 'Celebrities Read Mean Tweets', for which she also chose the background music, 'Everybody Hurts' by R.E.M. She has been a co-head writer for 'Big Night of Stars' (2008), created content for the 'Primetime Emmy Awards' in 2012 and 2016, and was a co-head-writer for the 'Academy Awards' successively in 2017 and 2018. As for her other notable works, she wrote for the '2012 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner' and for celebrities like Oprah and Meryl Streep. She has recently acted in a couple of comedies like 'Fun Mom Dinner' and 'Dumplin', and has also appeared in a few episodes of her husband's talk show. She was invited to deliver the graduation speech for the class of 2015 at St. Joseph’s Academy where she had studied.
Rise to Stardom
It was Molly McNearney's elementary school teacher at St. Clare of Assisi in Chesterfield who first encouraged her to write, and she has not stopped since the fourth grade. When Molly was in high school, she dreamed of becoming a journalist in her hometown. However, it was in college that she realized her flair for comedy after she took a trip to Second City in Chicago with some of her friends and watched a comedy show. After completing her graduation, she moved to Chicago and enrolled in Second City as a performer and sketch writer. Interestingly, she later relocated to Los Angeles not for work, but to be closer to her long-distance boyfriend who lived there. She did not know anyone else in LA, and they broke up immediately after she moved there. Thankfully, through an acquaintance, she came to know about a job opening at 'Jimmy Kimmel Live!' She became an assistant to the executive producer of the show without ever watching his show or knowing who Kimmel was. From there, she rose to the position of a co-head writer of the show in 2008. While most people are unaware that she writes a most of Kimmel's jokes and funny comments, she is a well-known figure in the entertainment industry and often accompanies her husband to various events and award shows.
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Molly O'Brien McNearney was born on March 13, 1978 in St. Louis, Missouri to Michael and Michelle McNearney. She has an older brother named Michael McNearney, Jr. and a younger sister named Kelly McNearney. Her sister is currently a Senior Account Executive at Google and has previously worked as Digital Account Executive for ESPN. Molly attended St. Clare of Assisi elementary school in Chesterfield and later pursued her high school studies at St. Joseph's Academy. She completed her graduation from the University of Kansas. She often credits her upbringing in St. Louis for keeping her grounded despite constantly being surrounded by celebrities.
Relationship with Jimmy Kimmel
Interestingly, Molly McNearney's first impression of her boss-turned-husband Jimmy Kimmel was not a great one as she felt insulted by his behavior during their first meeting. In the early 2000s, the executive producer of Kimmel's show introduced her to Kimmel as the new assistant, mentioning that she competed in triathlons, to which Kimmel replied, "That is really stupid! What a waste of time." They barely talked during her first year at his office, but he eventually made up for his mistake by cooking her favorite food. At one of the writers' meetings he asked everyone for their favorite meals and soon after invited Molly to his house and cooked her favorite dishes all by himself. She was cautious about romancing her boss, but they began dating in 2009 and eventually got married on July 13, 2013, following a 10-month-long engagement.
She gave birth to their daughter, Jane, on July 10, 2014. Their second child, son William John 'Billy' Kimmel, who was born on April 21, 2017 with a rare congenital heart defect, had to undergo surgery when he was just three days old. The couple has since then talked openly about the health-care system and other political issues. Molly, who is a Catholic like her husband, wrote a letter to her daughter on the day she was baptized to explain to her why they decided to baptize her despite being "fully aware of the flaws of the church". Molly mentioned in the handwritten letter that she will support her daughter if she moves away from Catholicism later on. Molly is very close to Kimmel's two children from his first marriage as well as his ex-girlfriend comedian Sarah Silverman.