Stephen A. Smith got the opportunity to host Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show two years ago. If he ever gets the opportunity to host Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night show again, his dressing room better be stocked with Pepto.
Last week, Smith told Sean Hannity that he would love to be Kimmel’s heir apparent. This week, Smith claimed that his nerves nearly got the best of him during his one opportunity filling in for Kimmel in 2021.
Smith’s book tour to promote his memoir Straight Shooter continued this week with a stop at Adam Carolla’s podcast, and during their conversation, the First Take host was asked about filling in on Kimmel’s late night show. Smith told Kimmel’s former Man Show co-host that he relished the opportunity to check off that bucket list item, but as soon as he thought about doing a monologue, his nerves kicked into high gear. And apparently, when Smith’s nerves get going, his bowels start moving.
“My dumb ass didn’t realize that, wait a minute, ‘there’s about a 15-18 minute monologue that I’ve got to do. And I gotta be funny!’ I’m telling you right now, I’ve been in TV for over 20 years. I have never been this scared in my life,” Smith told Carolla.
“People get nervous and they’re sweating, people get nervous and they have to get a drink. Me, I have to go to the toilet,” Smith said, providing a detailed behind-the-scenes look at his late night experience. “And sometimes it’s just once. This show, in the last hour (leading up to the show), I went to the toilet five times. I was so scared, that I thought that I was going to shit myself when I went out on stage. I was that petrified.”
Amazingly, Smith wouldn’t have been the first sports host to poop themselves on-air. But according to Smith, once he walked out under the bright lights and stepped in front of the audience, his nerves subsided and he was able to perform. Thankfully, Smith completed the show without an accident and drew positive reviews for his fill-in performance.
“It wasn’t until they opened the curtains and they said, ‘Stephen A. Smith.’ I don’t know what happened to me, but the lights came on, and I was just ready,” he recalled. “And I didn’t trip over any script, I didn’t hesitate, I didn’t stumble.”
And he didn’t poop his pants. But the bathroom now appears to be one area where Smith might have to concede to his former debate partner Skip Bayless. Both hosts may tout having never lost a debate, but Bayless boasts about never having to use the bathroom during a show, a weird badge of honor that Smith may not be able to compete with.