The chat show host interviewed his self-proclaimed hero and rival David Letterman on the ABC programme.
Jimmy Kimmel Live saw its highest Wednesday ratings ever since it launched in 2003.
It was watched by 2.35 million viewers, beating the previous record of the post-Rose Bowl broadcast in January 2006. It also achieved its best Wednesday 18-49 demographic score since 2007 with 985,000.
Kimmel spent much of the interview praising his idol, including trying to convince him how they could become best friends.
He jokingly attempted to point out their similar interests and hobbies, such as fly fishing and barbecuing, and suggesting a party "just [for] the two of us".
Letterman also spoke about Kimmel's upcoming timeslot change to 11.35pm, which puts the pair against each other for the first time.
He joked: "I think you're going to be perfect at 11.30. You and everybody who have worked so hard here, at... whatever time you're on now."