20 years ago, during the first taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host welcomed Coldplay as the show’s first-ever musical guest. “Do you remember what I actually said that night?” Kimmel asked frontman Chris Martin on Thursday’s anniversary-celebrating episode. “I said we wanted to have a band on the show that we’d be proud we had on the show in 20 years. It was the one thing that we got right.”
At the time, in 2003, Coldplay performed the A Rush of Blood to the Head single “Clocks” from outside of the Kodak Theatre (now the Dolby Theatre), across street from where Jimmy Kimmel Live films at El Capitan Entertainment Centre. Jumping ahead two decades, Martin returned to the show, this time pretending to be unprepared to properly celebrate the anniversary.
“You called kind of last minute, we couldn’t really get anything together,” he explained. “I’m so sorry. I did bring you a gift just to say I’m sorry we couldn’t do anything special for you – sorry we couldn’t play. But we’re friends and I hoped you’d understand.” The gift, as it turned out, was a music box that played “Clocks.”
But he better gift came after, when the sound of the music box blended together first with Martin’s vocals, then with a full orchestra and choir launching into a surprise performance of the record. Moving throughout the studio set, Martin leads the performance up to a television screen playing their original 2003 performance.
When it cuts back to 2023, Martin is joined by the rest of Coldplay, back outside on the Dolby Theatre rooftop. For a moment, the show’s resident security guard/comedian Guillermo Rodriguez took over on piano while the frontman prepared to close out the performance. As fireworks set off just behind the building, Kimmel finished off “Clocks” with a brief saxophone solo.
Jimmy Kimmel Live‘s anniversary show featured a nearly 12-minute long monologue and also saw the return of the show’s first co-host (Snoop Dogg) and first guest (George Clooney). During another segment, Kimmel had a conversation with his past self using some trippy AI technology.
A congratulatory roundup featured contributions from Michelle Obama, Hugh Jackman, Tracy Morgan, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Bryan Cranston, Shaq, Huey Lewis, Margot Robbie, Carol Burnett, Oprah, Tom Hanks, Kerry Washington, Michael Keaton, Sean Penn, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ben Affleck, and more.