Decked in golden sparkly paper decorative glasses that read the coveted time in big red print -- much like the kitschy glasses revelers wear on New Year's Eve -- hundreds of Kimmel fans on Tuesday rang in a new year and new timeslot at the late night host's Hollywood studios.
"I think he deserves it. He's definitely paid his dues in the late night business," said Kathryn Tengono of Studio City, adjusting the 11:35 paper glasses to fit around her ears as she watched Kimmel's monologue.
Tengono added that she's been to a taping of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" before and favors Kimmel's style.
"He's entertaining, much funnier and is just a natural for this timeslot," Tengono said.
Tuesday's premiere finally pits Kimmel -- who went on air in January 2003 -- against veteran nightside hosts Jay Leno and David Letterman. Currently, Leno claims the top talk-show spot with some 3.5 million average viewers, followed by Letterman on CBS with 2.8 million.
"Jimmy Kimmel Live!" was drawing under 2 million nightly viewers at 12:05 Eastern but, according to Nielsen Co. ratings, finished up 2012 with a 10-year viewership high.
"We've been waiting for this day for a long time and I want to thank our network, ABC, for this vote of confidence," Kimmel said during the start of his show. "It was a big decision. It's a risky decision, it really is. Some might even say it was a stupid decision, but I want them to know that I understand what's at stake here and I do not take this responsibility lightly."
"This is the time when I shine bright like a diamond."
To kick-off his new start, Kimmel welcomed guest Jennifer Aniston. This was the actress' first appearance on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" and it wasn't even to promote a new movie or television show but to simply congratulate Kimmel on his new move.
She even came came on stage wielding a sledgehammer to smash Kimmel's desk as a symbol of starting fresh.
"That's out with the old, in with the new," Aniston said.
No Doubt rocked Kimmel's outdoor stage to promote their sixth studio album, "Push and Shove," and a new tour.
No Doubt fans Jennifer Shipman and Avery Perez, both of Cypress, were stoked to see one of their favorite Orange County-born bands participate in such a momentous show for Kimmel.
"It's cool they get to hit the stage for the first show of the new timeslot," Perez said, as Shipman chimed in: "This is a great way to start this head-to-head rivalry with Jay Leno."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.