TV Upfronts: Jimmy Kimmel's 10 Funniest Lines From His ABC Monologue
THR takes you inside Kimmel's annual upfront roast, where he takes jabs at "American Idol," Les Moonves and more than a few at NBC.
In a frenzied week of packaged clips and ratings spin, late night's Jimmy Kimmel offered a humorous reprieve -- at the broadcast industry's expense.
In keeping with a decade-long tradition, the Jimmy Kimmel Live host took the Lincoln Center stage Tuesday afternoon to skewer his own network as well as its rivals -- after initial jabs at NBC, Paul Lee and Dancing With the Stars in an Oval Office Scandal spoof with Anne Sweeney and Kerry Washington.
The Hollywood Reporter brings you some of Kimmel's best lines:
On his upfront tradition: "[We're] just throwing a bunch of shit at a wall to see what sticks. And guess what, you're the wall... Next year you'll come back and do it again, and every year I wonder what's wrong with this process. Which got me thinking, maybe this is a good place for me to sell some of my own shit," said Kimmel, then bringing up his own Craigslist ads for an old color printer, a used cell phone, three parrot cages and a neon beer sign. "You don't know if these shows are going to work, and we don't know -- so just put money in the bag."
On Matt Lauer's PR problem: Speaking to the diversity of protagonists on ABC, Kimmel referenced some of TV's darker antiheroes, including "Walter White on Breaking Bad, Don Draper on Mad Men and Matt Lauer on the Today Show."
On NBC's ratings: "They came behind Univision this year," said Kimmel, referring to the Peacock's February sweep loss. "They have an interesting strategy next year, they're going to oppose immigration reform."
On Jay Leno leaving Tonight: "[NBC] did a lot of research and they realized that by being number 1 in his time slot, he was embarrassing their other shows." Moving on to Leno replacement and his future time slot rival Jimmy Fallon, Kimmel offered the crowd an easy way to tell them apart: "He's the one who sings and plays guitar. I'm the one who comes here every year and calls you assholes."
On Fox's unfortunate year: "Except for the problems with American Idol, there's a lot to like about their new schedule. Except for the hole in the side of the boat, there was a lot to like about Titanic."
On CBS and Les Moonves: "CBS, those smug motherf---ers... Les Moonves told CNBC that jokes about CBS skewing old are over. Those jokes aren't over until my grandmother throws away her Mentalist hemorrhoid doughnut... CBS has a new show at the end of the month called the American Baking Competition. That will get the kids to put down their iPhones. They better be baking pot brownies, or no one under 60 is watching."
On ABC's new streaming app: "We believe this is a revolutionary new way for us to take money from you... We are very excited about our new app, now you need never miss your favorite ABC shows just because you're driving." As for the name of the app, Watch ABC, Kimmel said it got the name because consumers didn't know what to do with the network. "Do I smoke it? Do I eat it? No, you watch it."
On Splash's shortcomings. "You are about to invest 4 billion dollars in a network that rolled a 400-pound comedian off a a diving board last week... We have a great idea for next season. We're taking the water out of the pool and calling it splat."
On Barbara Walters retiring: "As you know, Barbara is leaving after more than 50 years to have a baby -- my baby," he said before drawing attention to the fact that she bolted during the presentation. "She left? Oh well, we'll have her terminated."
On circling back to pitch: "As the old saying you can't polish a turd, but you can buy $100 million of ad time on it. So let's do that, let's go in on a turd together."