Jimmy Kimmel took the stage at ABC’s upfront presentation to advertisers Tuesday and — in what has now become a tradition (and the best part of the event) — he lampooned his network, his rivals and anyone who would even think of advertising on his network.
Here are his best jokes (i.e., pretty much his whole standup act):
“Being a president of television network is hard, there’s no question about that. But somehow [ABC topper] Paul Lee makes it look even harder. You heard Paul say it, we’re No. 1. We’re No. 1? Look, I don’t know what this No. 1 brand bullshit is, I don’t know what kind of 17 mile long … collider they spun that one in, but the ABC I work at is not No. 1. In fact, we might need to crash on your couch for a while.
“Even [outgoing co-chairman, Disney Media Networks] Anne Sweeney was like, to hell with this, I’m outta here. By the way, if anyone is looking for a director with no experience who is used to a high seven figure salary and always getting her way, make sure to accept Anne’s invitation to LinkedIn.
“I was on The View this morning. Either I was on the View or I had a very vivid dream that all my aunts were mad at me. Anyway, I was there to say goodbye to Barbara Walters, who is stepping down this week — very carefully — and I thought this was interesting. She’s leaving because she wants to spend more time fighting her friends in real life.
“We made history at ABC here with Juan Pablo Galavais, our first non-white bachelor. Everyone hated him, so we’re never doing that again.
“We have so many exciting new shows. Most of our shows are either about superheroes or fairy tales. You know we may be a terrible network but we are a great birthday party for a 6-year-old.
“We are introducing a number of limited run series this year. American Crime is 11 episodes. Secret of Lies will go 10 episodes, and most of our shows will probably go even shorter than that.
“NBC is very pleased with themselves, aren’t they? They should be. Who would have ever guessed that the Olympics would rate? The fact of the matter is C-Span could have been No. 1 with the Olympics. the video screens above the pumps at the gas stations would have been no. 1 if they had the Olympics on them. And yet there was Bob Greenblatt yesterday on the stage rubbing his nipples the whole time.
“As you know NBC has locked up the summer and winter Olympics until 2032. That is so cute, they think there is still going to be winter in 2032.
“Now NBC is on top. What do you do when you are on top? You double down and you hit them with Peter mother f—ing Pan. And then The Music Man. Is Bob running a network or a musical theater camp?
“But they are spending money. Mark Burnett is producing an elaborate new miniseries for called AD which he described as Game of Thrones meets The Borgias meets The Bible. Now I read the pitch for this show. It sounds more to me like total meets cluster meets f—.
“For first time in a long time CBS did not have a good year. Just to give you a sense of how disastrously things went for CBS, they almost didn’t beat us this year. But they are sticking to what they do best. They are adding another CSI called Cyber. I guess there is still an audience for this. I just don’t know. People who watch CBS are like Sasquatch; I’ve heard reports that they exist, but I’ve never actually seen one.
“A pilot [Fox topper] Kevin Reilly picked up is a superhero show called Gotham. From what I can tell, this is a show for people who love everything about Batman except Batman. You know that part of the movie that’s so boring that you skip right past it? Well now that’s a series. You get to see the Dark Knight’s testicles descend every week.
“I know Paul makes up a lot of words but Kevin Reilly said he’s making eventizing a priority this year. That’s actually how I popped the question to my wife. I said honey, I think its time to eventize this relationship and then I pregnatized her. And by the way my wife is pregnant and this seems like a good time to mention that for the first time ever as part of an ultra premium integration package, ABC is offering your client naming rights to my baby. For a $25 million media spend, my newborn will be named after your product. Can you imagine the pride we will both feel as we introduce Crest White Strips Kimmel? It’s a concept I call cervical integration. Look at what happened to Apple after they made that deal with Gwyneth Paltrow.
“This year I’m being completely serious when I saw all of our new shows will be canceled. But it doesn’t matter. We need to relax, we need to stop worrying about who gets the best ratings and about who’s no. 1. As Vince Lombardi once said, winning isn’t everything. There was more, but that was the basic gist of it.
This fall Paul gave the creative community a mandate: bring us your passion, we’ll take off the handcuffs – which sounds like something you’d say to a hooker. I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t get attached to any of these shows because it’s like adopting a kitten with cancer. [The crowd moans]. Oh too much? I’m sorry, then you will hate our new show Kittens with Cancer.