Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards in an understandably strange fashion, given the global pandemic.
For the first several minutes, Kimmel delivered what for viewers at home, in many respects, looked and sounded like a normal monologue, with pauses for applause and cuts to a star-studded audience.
But the applause? Fake.
The crowd? Those were crowd reactions from past awards shows.
It was a bit jarring at first but amusing nonetheless, especially when the camera cut to Kimmel himself in the seats from a past show.
“Of course I’m here all alone,” said Kimmel. “Of course we don’t have an audience. This isn’t a MAGA rally. It’s the Emmys.”
Kimmel got in a dig at President Trump, acknowledging that “losers” of the outstanding competition show category often go on to become president, as with Trump and “Celebrity Apprentice.”
Then came Jason Bateman.
“Instead of a live audience, we took a page from baseball tonight and filled the seats with cardboard cutouts of the nominees,” Kimmel said. “You can see, we have Regina King, Hugh Jackman, Jason Bateman, Meryl — wait a minute. Go back one. Jason? Jason? I know it’s you. I saw your eyes moving.
[CUT TO THE REAL JASON BATEMAN]
JASON BATEMAN: They didn’t move.
JIMMY KIMMEL: Yes, they did move.
JASON BATEMAN: Mind your business, Kimmel. Big night for me.
JIMMY KIMMEL: I know it’s a big night. But you can’t be in here. we have very strict safety protocols.
JASON BATEMAN: I’m clean, guy. OK? I’m a big washer-upper. Always have been. Smell my hands. They’re like a garden.
JIMMY KIMMEL: No, thank you. I’m sure you’re clean. That’s not the point. We just have a limit on how many people we can have in the building. So you really need to go.
JASON BATEMAN: No, I don’t. I don’t. OK? I haven’t left the house for six months. Don’t send me back there. I want to be here. It’s ritzy, you know? I mean, I want to eat shrimp with the cast of “The Crown.” All right? I want Mario Lopez to ask me about my pants. Let’s go.
JIMMY KIMMEL: We don’t have any shrimp but you can stay as long as you promise to laugh at my jokes.
JASON BATEMAN: Huh. I’m out. I’m going to call the car.
JIMMY KIMMEL: You’re nominated, you know.
JASON BATEMAN: I know I’m nominated. If I win, give it to [Don] Cheadle.
[BATEMAN PLACES CARDBOARD CUTOUT OF YOUNGER VERSION OF HIMSELF ON SEAT]
JIMMY KIMMEL: Jason, when was that photo taken?
JASON BATEMAN: It’s tough to tell. I don’t age.
JIMMY KIMMEL: All right. Let’s get going. But first, you know what I’d really like? Let’s have a standing ovation for me.
[FAKE STANDING OVATION]
Jimmy Kimmel opened the ‘pand-Emmys’ to a completely empty arena — watch his monologue here pic.twitter.com/FnLZvmcEaT
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) September 21, 2020
Nothing, however, was less weird than the complete domination by “Schitt’s Creek,” Pop TV’s sweet, heartfelt, hilarious series about the down-on-their-luck Rose family.
The family sitcom made a clean sweep, taking home seven awards: comedy series, lead actor (Eugene Levy), lead actress (Catherine O’Hara), supporting actor (Dan Levy), supporting actress (Annie Murphy), best writing (Dan Levy) and best directing (Andrew Cividino and Dan Levy).
Dan Levy, who created the show along with dad Eugene, honored the “love and kindness” he was able to honor in “Schitt’s Creek.”
Eugene Levy took home his first acting Emmy award, starring alongside longtime collaborator O’Hara.
Both won writing Emmys for “SCTV” nearly 40 years ago.