Jimmy Kimmel was the host of the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards; his second time around as host of the annual awards show. Did the late-night talk show host hit the mark this time around? See a roundup of reviews from critics and video highlights of the show.
The comedian and host of Jimmy Kimmel Live had an elaborate opening sequence which saw him tasked with literally trying to get to the show. Yes of course ‘The People vs. O.J. Simpson’ received a full slate of nominations but who would have thought it might be a comedic springboard? That’s to say, Jimmy Kimmel spoofed the infamous O.J. Simpson Bronco car chase — putting himself as the passenger this time around. Next he was hitching a ride with thea ‘Modern Family’ crew, and then with fellow late night host James Corden, yes, and yes, that meant we were in for “Carpool Karaoke.
Even more surprisingly — and randomly — former GOP Presidential candidate Jeb Bush had a cameo appearance as a Uber driver. He said, ““If you run a positive campaign, voters will ultimately make the right choice.” He then added, “That was a joke.” And, in asking Kimmel if he had been nominated And finding out that yes, he was, said, with appropriate wonderment, “Wow, what’s that like?”
That wasn’t the last brush with politics for the night. Naturally, this being the final stretch of the Presidential election, Kimmel did not waste the opportunity to take a swipe at Donald Trump, saying, ““If it wasn’t for television, would Donald Trump be running for president?” Name checking the executive producer of ‘Celebrity Apprentice,’ he went on to say, ““Thanks to Mark Burnett, we don’t have to watch reality shows anymore, because we’re living in one.” As for Hillary Clinton — who infamously sought to confirm her health and fitness by opening a pickle jar on his show (spawning “pickle-gate” in the aftermath), not a word. So much for equal time!
Another buzzed about moment came not from the host but from ‘Veep’ star Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She delivered an acceptance speech that was both comedic and bittersweet as she revealed for the first time that her father, billionaire mogul, William Louis-Dreyfus, had died two days ago. But before that touching tribute, the ‘Veep’ star had an apology for having “torn down the wall between comedy and politics.” She went on to say, “Our show started out as a political satire but it feels now like sobering documentary. So I certainly do promise to rebuild that wall and make Mexico pay for it.”
Well, if nothing else, this year has shown us that where pop culture and politics are concerned there’s no obstruction at all, let alone a wall!
Throughout the night social media was weighing in and, now in the aftermath, the television critics who, after all are getting paid for this sort of thing — have weighted in. Here’s what they’re saying about Jimmy Kimmel as host and the awards show overall.
“….Not all of Kimmel’s bits worked. A note to all awards shows from here on out: stop with the food gags! Ellen DeGeneres ordered pizza for an Oscars audience. Chris Rock did the same shtick at this year’s Oscars, only this time with Girl Scout cookies. Apparently, the Emmy producers felt that having 7000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, made by Kimmel’s mother and distributed by the juvenile stars of Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” was somehow original. …..” –Goldderby
“….But what ABC chose to do with the portion of the evening within its control was sour and strange. It wasn’t anything quite so reductive as that Jimmy Kimmel is another straight white man — last year’s host, Andy Samberg, shares all those demographic markers and yet showed up for a delightfully nonsensical bit with Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington and killed. It’s that Kimmel’s attitude, one of derision and disdain, wore poorly over the course of the broadcast…..” –TIME
“…. At the night’s end, Mr. Kimmel congratulated the awardscast for ending neatly on time: “We finished before the election came!” But as we’ve seen for a while, and the Emmys reminded us, it’s not entirely clear where TV ends and the election begins…..” –New York Times
“….One thing is for sure: Even though the nearly three-hour ceremony jumps from network to network every year, Kimmel should be considered as a semi-permanent host the way Ricky Gervais is and Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were for the Globe Globes. Fast on his feet, hitting his cues with apparent glee and even handing out food, the now-two-time Emmys host injected the bite and buzz that Andy Samberg’s stint last year on Fox sorely lacked – or as my colleague Mike Fleming Jr. noted of Kimmel: “Why hasn’t he hosted the Oscars yet?”…..” — Deadline
“….. Host Jimmy Kimmel was at the top of his game, delivering an effectively biting monologue, and his relaxed demeanor made the perfect foil for the emotional unplanned scenes aptly showcased above the rest. That being said, all of the amazing unrehearsed moments made some of the pre-written segments feel glaringly sophomoric…..” Indiewire
“….The Emmy broadcast is never going to be the world’s most exciting: It’s long, it lacks glamour, and it drags in the variety-show middle. Still, overall, you got some surprises, some coronations, some well-earned repeats, and some funny moments from a strong host. Pretty much all you could hope…..” –USA Today
Now it’s one for the history books, with critics mostly in Jimmy Kimmel’s camp so to speak, with a few outliers. You can see video highlights below of the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards show below!
Pictures: PR Photos