One can only imagine the ball-busting fun real-life friends Jimmy Kimmel, Jason Bateman, and Will Arnett must have. At least that’s judging from what a good time Kimmel and Arnett had in the no-show Bateman’s absence from Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday. One might think that, in this blighted time of hiatuses and pandemic precautions, Ozark star Bateman would have had plenty of spare time to make his scheduled booking on pal Kimmel’s talk show. He didn’t even have to be in Kimmel’s Hollywood studio in person, for crying out loud, and Kimmel produced a picture of a slumped and lonely Bateman on location, apparently playing Words With Friends on his phone. But, as Kimmel and last-minute fill-in Arnett took turns assuring everyone, being an Emmy-winning actor-director is apparently just too much of a burden for Jason-fancy-pants-Bateman to pick up the phone and Zoom in for a measly late-night promo bit.
At least, that seems to be what Arnett was saying, as he spent his entire fallback interview appearance seriously chowing down on a hearty steak dinner. Speaking from his home podcasting studio (which, one would think, has better wifi than to occasionally freeze mid-interview), Arnett happily wolfed down the compensatory, home-delivered meal Kimmel had sent over. Kimmel noted that he thought it was understood that Arnett would enjoy his steak, bacon, and sides (Arnett especially touted the wedge salad) perhaps after the interview, rather than jamming it in between half-intelligible mouthfuls on national TV. But, hey, at least Arnett showed up, unlike some people.
With the former Arrested Development stars currently leaping into the shutdown-bored celebrity podcasting game alongside other chum Sean Hayes, Arnett happily munched away by explaining how their show, SmartLess has some friendly ball-busting built right into its premise. Two of the hosts don’t know which incredibly famous person the other has booked for any particular episode, leading to Arnett being seriously tongue-tied when Paul McCartney turned up one week. (Actually, Arnett boasted that he was on-point, while the music icon’s answers could have been a little tighter.) And while shrugged that the big SmartLess billboard in his Toronto hometown isn’t quite as impactful during a pandemic as it might be, he assured Kimmel that he’s got a lot of work lined up for the rest of the year. Right after he finishes eating.