A relatively subdued Jimmy Kimmel opened Sunday’s Emmys broadcast by lampooning the show’s virtual format in front of an audience composited from old Emmys footage.
“Hello and welcome to the pandemmys,” Kimmel said at the top of the ABC broadcast. “Wow, it’s great to finally see people again. Thank you for risking everything to be here. Thank me for risking everything to be here. You know what they say you can’t have a virus without a host.”
The opening segment also featured a bit with “Ozark” star Jason Batemen as the only real person amid a crowd of MLB-inspired cardboard cutouts, and another with “Morning Show” star and Emmys presenter Jennifer Aniston as a humorous way of explaining the night’s unique at-home format.
Read more of Kimmel’s best jokes below.
"Welcome to the 'Pand-Emmys!'"
— Good Morning America (@GMA) September 21, 2020
“The big question that I guess we should answer is why would you have an award show in the middle of a pandemic? Seriously, I’m asking, why are we having an award show in the middle of a pandemic?
What the hell am I doing here? This is the year they decide they have to have a host.”
“Why is a question I’ve been asked a lot this week. And again, yeah, it might seem frivolous and unnecessary to do this during a global pandemic. But you know what else seems frivolous and unnecessary? Doing it every other year.”
“We’ve been confined to our homes like prisoners in a dark and lonely tunnel. What did we find in that dark, lonely tunnel? I’ll tell you what we found. A friend who is there for us 24 hours a day. Our old pal television. That’s right. Television is your friend. It’s your Friends, your Big Brother, your Sister, Sister, your Mama’s Family, your two dads, your three sons, your Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. It’s even your Dog, the Bounty Hunter, through the Good Times and the Breaking Bad’s for every day of your 600 Pound Life. Television is there for you.”
“Hats off to the television visionary Norman Lear, who this week became the oldest winner ever at age 98. Norman didn’t grow up dreaming of winning Emmys. In fact, television wasn’t even something people had until he was a teenager. When Norman was a boy, his dream was to not get kicked to death by a horse.”
“The network censors have decided that every time I say the words Schitt’s Creek, we’re required to put the words Schitt’s Creek on the screen. Just in case you were wondering why network television is almost dead. HBO can show us a big blue penis, no problem. I can’t say the word Schitt’s with a C.”
“Of course we don’t have an audience. This isn’t a MAGA rally. It’s the Emmys.”