No network is safe from the late-night host's jabs

By Will Robinson
May 17, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT
ABC/ Ida Mae Astute

Despite this being trip No. 14 for Jimmy Kimmel to the ABC Upfronts stage, the comedian’s edge hasn’t dulled.

As the network announced new shows, the late-night host did what he was brought there to do: roast and skewer. After all, this is the guy who, in the past, made fun of his network home for what he joked were blatant attempts about trying to be more diverse, last year saying, “We’ve had some pretty big hits this year How to Get Away with Murder, Fresh Off the Boat, and Blackish. We’re doing well now that we started to acknowledge that minorities exist.” He has also poked fun at rival networks NBC, CBS, and Fox for their programming decisions, as well as audience viewing choices — “People who watch CBS are like Sasquatch; I’ve heard reports that they exist, but I’ve never actually seen one,” he said in 2014.

And Tuesday was no different. Here are Kimmel’s 11 best barbs from the 2016 Upfronts presentation: 

1. “There’s too many [upfronts], it’s crazy. Do Crackle, and Vox, and Vevo really need to have upfronts? These aren’t networks: these are sound effects when Batman punches a bad guy.”

2. “Do you guys learn anything from these presentations? I mean, let’s call this what it is: It’s a TED Talk where you leave dumber than when you got here.”

3. “ABC, as you’ll hear over and over again today, is the most diverse network. Why? I’ll tell you why: because the other networks are horrible racists. At ABC, we’ve embraced diversity like no other network, which is why I’m so proud to announce this year’s most exciting new drama, Gay Black Doctor Cop.

4. “When they shot the [Downward Dog] pilot, to get the dog, which is a mixed breed mutt, to perform, the trainer had to reward him with little pieces of bacon, which is actually the same way they got John Travolta to do his lines on The People v. O.J. Simpson.”

5. “One alarming trend is that Millennials are leaving our network in droves, which I guess is a problem. But are we really going to let these vaping, Snapchatting, music-stealing little f—ers determine how we do business? We are? Oh, we are.”

6. “Some people are saying that the network TV is making a comeback. All of those people are network executives, but they are saying it. The good news is that with all the options out there, traditional television is still king. 2016 is still an exciting time in broadcast television, in the same way that 1937 was an exciting time to be on the Hindenburg.”

7. “In order for broadcast television to survive, we have to stay current, and that’s why we are bringing you fresh, new shows like MacGyver, Prison Break, 24, Training Day, The $100,000 Pyramid, and Match Game.”

8. “Fox now has The Exorcist on the schedule and Lucifer, which, as you know, is a show based on the life of their founder Rupert Murdoch. So the devil is on their side.”

9. “CBS canceled CSI: Cyber, which is the last of the CSIs. They picked up a number of new dramas, which is good, I guess. It’s amazing CBS could pick anything up considering the osteoporosis. The average CBS viewer looks like the Red Woman from Game of Thrones without her necklace on.”

10. “They have Arnold Schwarzenegger at NBC. Donald Trump is right: Immigrants are taking our jobs, starting with his. Schwarzenegger will be the new host of Celebrity Apprentice. I don’t know about that. I don’t specialize in HR, I’m not a particularly politically correct guy, but should a guy who knocked up his maid be put in charge of an apprenticeship program? I think not.”

11. “ABC is different from the other networks. We are your partners. Don’t think of us as an old-fashioned TV network — think of us as an enormous paper shredder for you to pour $8 billion into. Let’s make beautiful, green confetti together. I’ll see you next year, and from what I’m told, the next two years after that.”