On Monday Jimmy Kimmel welcomed his first real live studio audience since the COVID lockdown began in March 2020 — for the last few months, he’s been filming in his L.A. studio but the audience has consisted of his staff and the occasional live in-person guest.
And to celebrate the momentous occasion, he reminded the audience of proper etiquette for watching things live and in person. For instance, “It’s rude to go to sleep during the show, OK?”
Also, Kimmel shared with his new audience the last joke he delivered to the last pre-COVID audience — and it bombed, just like it did last year.
By the way, Kimmel’s audience was only at half capacity due to continuing COVID safety protocols in Los Angeles. But even that number was enough to create a dramatic difference in noise levels from his previous in-studio shows of late.
“Wow — where did all these people come from?” Kimmel said as he started his monologue. “That’s very nice — I appreciate it. You know, for those of you watching from home, if it sounds different it’s because after more than, what, 15 months — at home and in a mostly empty studio — we finally have a real audience. It’s almost like a real show for a change.”
“We are not fully full yet,” Kimmel continued. “We were allowed to let 89 people in. How they arrived at that number, I have no idea. But everyone is masked, vaccinated, just to be extra safe — we shaved everyone from head to toe,” Kimmel joked.
“Most of you probably haven’t been to an event of any kind in a while — you’ve been watching on TV — so just a couple of reminders,” Kimmel said. “No. 1: you can’t mute me. And No. 2: It’s rude to go to sleep during the show, OK? Thanks for understanding.”
“It’s been a long time,” he continued. “In fact, we looked it up -– the last joke I told in front of a full audience was about Tulsi Gabbard,” Kimmel said. “You remember her? Me neither. The joke was, ‘Tulsi Gabbard is still in the running for president — in the same way the movie ‘Cats’ is still in the running for an Academy Award.'”
That joke got just a smattering of laughter, prompting Kimmel to joke: “That’s about how well it went over the first time too.”
After this, Kimmel did some bantering with audience members and joked that everyone who attended the taping of Monday’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” would get as a gift “a pair of tube socks and a boiled egg.” Watch the whole monologue, which also includes jokes about current events, above.