updated 04/18/2010 AT 8:00 AM ET
•originally published 04/18/2010 AT 8:30 AM ET
While the ash spewing from the lively volcano in Iceland may have grounded international travelers by the thousands, so far it has not played havoc with America’s late-night talk realm – at least not for Jimmy Kimmel.
“So far we haven’t had anyone cancel. I dare that volcano to try to affect my life. I will crush it!” Jimmy Kimmel, attending Friday’s Children Mending Hearts “Peace Please” Gala in Los Angeles, tells PEOPLE.
As for his take on another hot topic – the return of Conan O’Brien to the ranks of late-night TV next fall – the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host, 42, says frankly, “I think it’s probably a great thing for him. I hope it goes well for him. But you know, we’re competitors, so how excited am I going to get?”
Of deeper concern to Kimmel is the countdown to the series finale of Lost. An unabashed fan of the ABC drama, Kimmel says he’s vacillating between excitement about what the final episodes have in store and immense sadness.
“I’m dying to know the ending, but I feel very, very sad. It’s like being a sports fan whose team is finally going to win the World Series, but the sport is going to end at the end of the season,” Kimmel says.
“I’m feeling a bit misty about the show. I’m going to have to find a different way to confuse myself on Tuesday nights.”
Fortunately, Kimmel keeps up his mood with this season’s Dancing with the Stars – another show he can’t resist.
“They’ve got a great lineup,” says Kimmel. “I picked Erin Andrews to win, and I actually bet on it. I hope it works out and she’ll owe me $1,000.”