Jimmy Kimmel delivered his annual barrage of jabs at Disney’s upfront event Tuesday, with his yearly monologue of playful jokes coming at the expense of the company, which owns his home network, ABC.
This year marked “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” host Kimmel’s 16th upfront, and you can expect to see him there for at least the next three years — the late-night host just signed a new 3-year deal with ABC to continue his show into its 20th season.
Kimmel started his monologue by bringing out Jeremy Maguire, the little boy who plays Joe Pritchett on “Modern Family,” the long-running ABC sitcom coming up on its 11th and final season.
“Kenny had a puppy, so I wanted to bring out something cute too,” he said of ESPN host Kenny Mayne’s earlier presentation. “Can you do anything? Do you do any tricks? Can you say the darndest things?” he asked Maguire, referring to Tiffany Haddish’s upcoming “Kids Say the Darndest Things” revival.
“I’m gonna say some bad words now so you should probably go in the back, okay?” Kimmel told Maguire, signaling that the jokes were about to get intense — right before he took a dig at former network president Channing Dungey.
“How bout our new network president Karey Burke? This is Karey’s first upfront as president. She’s only been on the job since November,” he said. “Privately she asked me to make it clear to you that the shows you’ve been seeing today are not her fault. She said, and I quote, ‘Blame Channing.’ I can’t believe Channing left us for Netflix. Who does she think she is, our viewers?”
He also brought out friend John Mayer as a musical guest to play hits “No Such Thing” and “Waiting on the World to Change. Mayer’s song “The Heart of Life” inspired an ABC pilot of the same name, which was not picked up this time around but is still in consideration pending a redevelopment.
Here are some more of Kimmel’s best jokes from this year:
“Channing leaving us to work at Netflix was, to borrow a Yiddish term, such a Shonda.”
“I remember when we previewed ‘Lost’ and ‘Alias’ and ‘Desperate Housewives.’ Those were back in the days when Felicity only played a scheming suburban mom. Oh sorry, members of the USC rowing team are here. I know she did the wrong thing but I feel bad for Felicity. I heard she couldn’t even get her kid into Tully Hall, that’s how bad things have gone.”
“Later this year, we’re proud to announce FXXX. It’s just Vin Diesel movies and porn, and you’re gonna love it.”
“We own Disneyland, we own Iron Man, and we own ‘Star Wars.’ At this point the only cherished memory from your childhood we don’t own is jerking off. What a year it has been for Bob Iger. What a year.”
“What a year it’s been for all of us. ‘Roseanne’ is gone and the measles are back.”
“Remember last year when we got you all excited for ‘Take Two,’ and ‘The Kids Are Alright’ and ‘Roseanne’ and ‘Speechless’? Well, canceled, canceled, racist, canceled. But we still have ‘The Bachelor’ franchise. Like the genital herpes it thrives on, ‘The Bachelor’ franchise will never go away.”
“As Karey mentioned, ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ has been renewed for season number six. She also mentioned that moments after the renewal was announced, one of the stars of the show, Constance Wu, tweeted, ‘So upset right now that I’m literally crying. Ugh. F—.’ Only on ABC is your show getting picked up the worst thing that can happen to you.”
“Remember last year when you guys gave Les Moonves a standing ovation? That was funny. Whoops. That I don’t understand. How is it possible that a network whose logo is literally an eye did not see that coming?”
“Over at Fox, ‘The Masked Singer’ will be back for a second season — and here’s Terry Bradshaw to tell us more about that,” Kimmel said, pretending to welcome Bradshaw onto the stage and making an apparent nod to Bradshaw’s headline-generating appearance at the Fox upfront earlier in the week. “I am so bummed I missed that. Was that some kind of concussion awareness PSA? Terry Bradshaw and ‘The Masked Singer.’ What a stupid time to be alive.”
“Poor Fox though, they have nothing left. Fox is now the network equivalent of a divorced dad’s refrigerator. Eighteen to 49 isn’t even a demo anymore, it’s the number of people who still work there.”