Now that Hollywood's biggest names have come together (virtually, of course) to celebrate the brightest in television, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards host Jimmy Kimmel's best jokes of the night… starting with how he acknowledged the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. "Well, hello and welcome to the The Pandemmys! 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." Keep reading for more of Jimmy's jokes…
Before launching into the award ceremony, Jimmy got candid with how unimportant it may seem. "What's happening tonight is not important — it's not going to stop COVID-19, it's not going to put out the fires, but it's fun. And right now, we need fun — my god do we need fun."
Jimmy didn't stop there — he also made a point to acknowledge how "frivolous" hosting an award show is in the grand scheme of things. "It might seem frivolous and unnecessary to do this during a global pandemic — but you know what else feels frivolous and unnecessary? Doing it every year."
At the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards, Jimmy, who has earned his fair share of nominations over the years, asked an imperative question. "The big question that I guess we should answer is why would you have an award show in the middle of a pandemic? No, seriously now, I'm asking, why are we having an award show in the middle of a pandemic? And what the hell am I doing here?! This is the year they decided they have to have a host?"
Jimmy noted how television has provided necessary joy during such a tumultuous year. "It's been a year of division, injustice, disease, Zoom school, disaster and death. We've been quarantined in lockdown, we've been confined to our homes like prisoners in a dark and lonely tunnel — what did we find in that dark and lonely tunnel? I'll tell you what we found: a friend who's there for us 24 hours a day, our old pal television."
The beloved host also called attention to the ways in which television has been there for us during this trying year. That's right, television is your friend. It's your 'Friends,' it's your 'Big Brother,' 'Your Sister's 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 Bads,' for every day of your '600-Lb. Life,' television is there for you."
As for how celebrities are going to obtain their Emmy Award? "Here's how this is gonna happen — if you win, a guy will drive to your house and chuck the Emmy through your window," Jimmy quipped. He's seen here on stage with Emmy nominee Jennifer Aniston, who was up for best lead actress in a drama series for "The Morning Show."
Among the evening's most acclaimed shows? HBO's "Watchmen." Jimmy noted, "The most nominated series of the year is 'Watchmen' with 26 nominations. 'Watchmen' is a superhero show but it also feels very real — it's a very realistic show except for the part where anyone in Oklahoma is wearing a mask."
Jimmy, who is seen here with Emmy nominee Tracee Ellis Ross who was up for best lead actress in a comedy series for "Black-ish," shed light on what goes on in the writers room of a hit show: "They say that behind every great sitcom is a room of sweaty writers ordering lunch."
To what did Jimmy liken the empty audience of the 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards? Prom night! "That would mean that no one is in the audience… That would mean that I'm up here all alone… just like prom night."
Before kicking off the show, Jimmy requested a standing ovation… for himself! "Alright, let's get this going! But first, you know what I'd really like? Let's have a standing ovation for me."
The "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" host definitely got one thing right — it's been a great year for television… and Norman Lear! "The world may be terrible, but TV has never been better. And tonight we are paying tribute to the great shows and the history-making nominees — hats off to the television visionary Norman Lear, who this week became the oldest Emmy nominee ever at age 98."
Jimmy also praised Norman Lear for continuing to produce great work at his age, something he doesn't think he'll do himself at 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. Norman, you are a miracle. The only thing I'll be producing when I'm 98 is phlegm."
The emcee shared some words of wisdom from none other than Steven Spielberg. "The great Oscar- and Emmy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg once said, 'I don't dream at night, I dream at day, I dream all day; I dream for a living.' In any other industry that would get you fired for cause, but in Hollywood it makes you a nominee for outstanding directing for a drama series."
Jimmy also urged viewers to enjoy the award show instead of complain about its length. "Welcome back to the Emmys! And by the way, don't complain about how long the show is. The Lakers game is over, what else do you have to do? Play Candy Land with the kids for the nine-thousandth time?"