03/11/2014 02:40 pm ET Updated Mar 11, 2014

Jimmy Kimmel Talks Austin Shows, His Prankster Reputation And His Friendly Relationship With Jimmy Fallon

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Jimmy Kimmel decided to bring his 200-person staff all the way down to Texas to do a week of shows, mostly for the same reason as the hundreds of South By Southwest attendees: to have fun.

Kimmel spoke about his Texas-sized edition of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and more with The Huffington Post in Austin on Monday. He also gave us an idea of what he's ultimately trying to do by pranking the entire Internet, praised his late night cohorts Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers, and admitted that he's a huge Willie Nelson fan (but really, who isn't?).

On why he decided to bring his show to Austin:

"There's so much going on here and I think it's fun for people who don't know any thing about [SXSW] to get a look at it. And, most importantly it's fun for us to be a part of it. That's the main reason, because its fun. Truth be told, it's a lot of work. And it's expensive. So we're mostly coming to enjoy ourselves."

On booking Governor Rick Perry to be his guest on Tuesday night:

"I don't think it was hard to get him. I actually didn't really have much to do with it, I just saw his name on the list and thought, now I have to figure out what I'm going to talk to him about [laughs]. We'll see what happens, but sometimes I abandon the plan all together when I do the interview."

On enrolling Guillermo in UT Austin as a gag:

"We went through several majors with him, we even tried to get him on one of the teams. Communication turned out to be a problem because his English isn't very good. I don't want to reveal too much... Let's just say he's probably not going to have a graduation ceremony."

On booking Willie Nelson:

"I don't normally reach out to people personally to be on the show, but Willie Nelson probably doesn't know who I am [laughs]. I'm a big fan so I made sure to call his managers and say, 'I'm not going to come to Austin unless we can get Willie Nelson on the show.' So, he's coming on Friday."

On whether or not he thinks his reputation for pulling pranks makes them harder to pull:

"No, it's not harder. It's funny, because now whenever something happens -- like the hover board video last week -- everyone thinks it's me. That's kind of ideal. I want everyone to think I did everything [laughs]."

"I'm not doing it to comment on the news media, but I think we could take a beat and think about things before [making them go viral.] It's funny because when you really think you've made some kind of a point, you really haven't because ultimately what everyone wants is to get people to click through their stories."

On the rumor that there is a booking war going on between "The Tonight Show" and the rest of late night:

"I don't have any evidence that any of that is true. I think people like to make a lot out of that sort of thing, but the fact of the matter is you want celebrities to do your show first, and they either will or they won't. There's a balance they can strike, if they do one show first, the next time they're on a publicity tour they do the other one first. I think that's how Dave and Jay did it.

On having his show run opposite Jimmy Fallon's:

"We definitely have a friendly relationship. I mean, he was at my engagement party. We're pretty friendly."

"I think he's doing a great job... They put a lot of work into their show and I admire that. It impresses me. It inspires me to work harder on my show."

On Seth Meyers:

"I really like him a lot. He's a very smart guy, a very, very funny guy, and -- maybe even more than those two things -- a very nice guy."

On the friendlier environment of the current late night TV landscape:

"Well there are a lot more people watching late night TV in the last few weeks. How could that be bad?



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