Emmys 2020: How Did Jimmy Kimmel Do as Host of the Virtual Ceremony? (POLL)

Jimmy Kimmel
ABC/Jeff Lipsky

The Emmys look very different in 2020, with the virtual ceremony taking place, for the most part, in the homes of presenters, nominees, and winners. But one thing that has stayed the same is a host (Jimmy Kimmel) and an opening monologue.

Kicking off the night from L.A.’s Staples Center, Kimmel takes the stage to… applause from the audience? It’s obviously footage from previous years, and it takes far too long for the host to address it. But because of that, other than a couple mentions of the pandemic causing the virtual ceremony (and sterilizing one of the envelopes to the point of using fire), it’s a typical opening.

“Welcome to 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,” he begins before wondering why there even is an Emmys — with a host — this year. However, as he then notes, while “it might seem frivolous and unnecessary to do this in the middle of a pandemic,” so does “doing it every year.”

And after the “miserable year … of division, injustice, disease, Zoom school, disaster and death,” TV has been there, he continues. “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.”

He notes Norman Lear is the oldest Emmy winner ever at 98. “Television wasn’t even something people had until he was a teenager,” Kimmel says. “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 host also recognizes Quibi for 10 nominations, including “dumbest thing to ever cost a billion dollars.”

And then as he shows that he’s actually all alone in the theater, “just like prom night,” the camera pans across the cardboard cutouts of nominees in the audience… including the very real Jason Bateman, who doesn’t want to leave at first. “I haven’t left the house for six months,” the actor explains. “Don’t send me back there.” But once Kimmel tells him he can stay if he laughs at his jokes, “I’m out,” Bateman decides. “If I win, give it to Cheadle.”

After his opening monologue, Kimmel runs through how the ceremony will work: They have live feeds to and from more than 100 locations around the world. “You know how hard it is to try to get your parents to FaceTime? Multiply that by a lot.” As he asks, “What could possibly go right?”

Really, in terms of an opening monologue, it’s the same as any year: some jokes land, while others don’t.

What do you think of how Kimmel is doing as host of the virtual ceremony? Vote in the poll below.