After one of the weaker Emmys openings in recent memory — host Jimmy Kimmel fretting about a bad botox job — he won back some goodwill with an opening monologue that took aim at Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, Jon Hamm, HBO's "Luck" and a 14-year-old boy.
Here are the best jokes:
"Television as we know it was invented by a 14-year-old Idaho farmboy named Philo T. Farnsworth, who was plowing a wheatfield. This is true, in rows of parallel lines. And it occured to Philo that an image could also be sliced into rows of parallel lines and he patented that invention, and now thanks to Philo T. Farnsworth, we have 'Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo.' Nice job, dumbass."
"I will admit that 'Downton Abbey' is an amazing show. … It really gives you a sense of what it must have been like to grow up in Mitt Romney's house."
"Are any of you voting for Mitt Romney? Alright, there's 40 Republicans and the rest godless liberal homosexuals. … Being a Republican in Hollywood is like being a Chick-fil-A sandwich on the snack table at 'Glee.'"
"Does it bother anyone else that President Obama said his favorite show is 'Homeland'? I don't think the president should be watching 'Homeland' for the same reason I don't think Charlie Sheen should watch 'Breaking Bad.'"
"Once again, HBO leads all the networks with 81 nominations, but it was a bumpy year for HBO.
Their highly anticipated horseracing drama, 'Luck,' was canceled halfway through the first season. By the way, if you're going to the HBO after-party, don't eat the sliders."
"The show with the most nominations this year is 'Mad Men.' The star of show, one of the stars, the very handsome Jon Hamm is with us. Jon, you gave a tremendous performance this year, and I for one am shocked that you did not win tonight." (Kimmel made the joke before Damian Lewis won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for "Homeland.")
"It was a big year for cable. For the first time ever, none of the four major networks were nominated in the drama category. And you can't ignore that. The academy is sending a pretty clear message. And that message is 'Show us your boobs.'"