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Jimmy Kimmel Gets Candid About The Weirdest Things He Encountered Hosting The Emmys During A Pandemic

Jimmy Kimmel Live! Jimmy Kimmel ABC
(Image credit: Jeff Lipsky / ABC)

So it was that time of year again this past Sunday. The Television Academy extolled its picks for the best in TV. But just because TV is slowly returning to production with many pre-conceived precautions, that doesn't mean the 2020 Emmys were anywhere close to normal. Jimmy Kimmel, the ceremony’s virtual host, is now getting candid about the weird things that come with hosting the awards show during a pandemic.

Kimmel, who is is back from his summer vacation, returned to host this year's ceremony (and CinemaBlend’s Laura Hurley’s had her thoughts on how he did). Ultimately, the host would devote time on his talk show to discuss his duties on the virtual show. Speaking about the Emmys, Kimmel said on Jimmy Kimmel Live!:

Well, I hosted the virtual Emmys last night. They’re saying it was the highest-rated Emmys ever. Oh, the lowest? Oh, all right. Well, we set a record. Let’s just say that. We had a lot of fun given the difficult circumstances. The weirdest part of hosting the show was when it was over, you know there usually are parties, everyone is carrying their Emmys around, everyone is happy. This year the show ended and it was like, ‘Well, I guess I’ll go into my car and drive home.’ It was nothing.

As Jimmy Kimmel pointed out, there were no Emmys’ after-parties to attend during which one could rub shoulders with the victors. You have to imagine that this year’s winners felt some sort of letdown over having to miss out in such a significant way. Of course, in all of the weird and awkward moments that punctuated the event, there was plenty of levity to be found.

In his monologue, Jimmy Kimmel mentioned that few people tuned in to see it. Not only was Kimmel’s Emmys dealt the blow of not having TV fans tune in, but it also lacked an in-person audience to laugh at Kimmel’s monologue jokes. The upside? If Kimmel had any regrets like Ricky Gervais did over his Tim Allen joke, there was no one actually present to take it, well, personally.

Jimmy Kimmel did have an audience of the virtual variety though, and the Kimmel-hosted Emmys came up with a creative way to incorporate a faux crowd. Kimmel is, of course, no stranger to speaking to a coronavirus-induced empty room. Remember, before his summer-long reprieve from working Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he got a taste of doing a monologue without an audience. On his Emmys monologue, Kimmel said:

We had no audience, so I had to figure out how to do a monologue in front of nobody. So what we did – if you missed it like Guillermo did -- we took reaction shots from old monologues and we made it seem like we had a big audience full of celebrities clapping and laughing at new jokes. Then, we pulled the curtain back and revealed there was no one there. While it was happening we fooled a lot of people who thought I was onstage wasted no time in denouncing us. Sorry to have caused any consternation.

Apparently, some people did not recognize celebrities’ outfits from past Emmys and thought they were going on per usual. They quickly became outraged, and before watching more of the broadcast to ring the alarm bells, spoke out about it. Had those angered had stuck around, they would've noticed that everything was as virtual and out-of-the-ordinary as they wanted it to be.

To see everything that Jimmy Kimmel had to say about the Emmys and his summer vacation, you can check out the video below. Kimmel has a summer’s worth of thoughts, and the Emmys is just the tip of the iceberg. See for yourself:

Now that the Emmys are over, you can look forward to this fall’s premieres putting their best efforts forward in a bid to get nominated for next year. Stay tuned to see how each show performs in the new television season. In the meantime, Jimmy Kimmel Live! airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on ABC.

Britt Lawrence

Like a contented Hallmark movie character, Britt happily lives in the same city she grew up in. Along with movies and television, she is passionate about competitive figure skating. She has been writing about entertainment for 5 years, and as you may suspect, still finds it as entertaining to do as when she began.