He was born in New York City and graduated from Harvard College where he was an editor of the Harvard Lampoon. He is currently married to the former Alexandra Manuela Vargas Hamilton and has two daughters.
Kimball began his career writing for the HBO series Not Necessarily the News. He was the host and executive producer of the satiric game show Clash! and the co-host (with Denis Leary) of the talk show Afterdrive both on the Ha! Network, a predecessor of Comedy Central.
As a writer, Kimball has worked on Saturday Night Live, Cedric the Entertainer Presents, and Lateline. He has written the Independent Spirit Awards since 2002 and been a producer on the show since 2005. He has written five episodes of The Simpsons, and co-wrote four with Ian Maxtone-Graham.
He has been nominated for an Emmy Award for writing and won the CableAce Award for Best Documentary. His Simpsons' episode "24 Minutes" received an Annie Award in 2007 for Best Writing in an Animated Television Production. He won the Writers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Script for Comedy/Variety Special for the 2008 Film Independent Spirit Awards.
Kimball has a long association with Al Franken. He was the executive producer of "InDecision '92," Comedy Central's coverage of the 1992 United States Presidential Election, which was anchored by Franken. From 2005 to 2007, he was the executive producer of The Al Franken Show on Air America Radio and Sundance Channel.
Kimball co-wrote the 2010 documentary Waiting for Superman, about the failures of American public education, with filmmaker Davis Guggenheim. The film received the Audience Award for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.
In May 2013, Kimball was appointed senior vice president and chief programming officer of Fusion. He served as an executive producer for The Jim Henson Company's Good Morning Today and No, You Shut Up! (both shows are under The Jim Henson Company's Henson Alternative banner).
The Simpsons episodes
- "24 Minutes" (co-written with Ian Maxtone-Graham)
- "Smoke on the Daughter" (the only episode Kimball has written without Ian Maxtone-Graham)
- "Dangerous Curves" (co-written with Ian Maxtone-Graham)
- "Gone Maggie Gone" (co-written with Ian Maxtone-Graham)
- "The Color Yellow" (co-written with Ian Maxtone-Graham)
- "The Scorpion's Tale" (co-written with Ian Maxtone-Graham)
- "How I Wet Your Mother" (co-written with Ian Maxtone-Graham)
- Industry Veteran Kimball to Lead Fusion Programming
- Colton, Michael. "Can Harvard Charmer Billy Kimball Make Craig Kilborn a CBS Star?". The New York Observer. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
- "WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS; Alexandra Hamilton, Billy Kimball". The New York Times. 2004-05-23. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- Rosen, Lisa (2005-02-26). "Still a bit of an indie kid at 20". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- "Billy Kimball - Awards". IMDB. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- "Legacy: 35th Annual Annie Award Nominees and Winners (2007)". Annie Awards. Retrieved 2009-03-21.
- Morris, Bob (1994-05-01). "THE NIGHT; A Tribute, So Altmanesque". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-04-06.
- "Billy Kimball". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2009-04-06.