Jimmy Kimmel's 30 Funniest Jokes From ABC's Upfront

Jimmy Kimmel_Onstage Upfront - Publicity - H 2019
Pawel Kaminski/Walt Disney Television

Jimmy Kimmel delivered some much-needed laughs at the ABC upfronts.

In keeping with tradition, the late-night host took the stage at Lincoln Center in New York on Tuesday afternoon to skewer his own network. He spared no one during the 15-minute set, taking jabs at Les Moonves, Terry Bradshaw and, yes, Constance Wu.

"The bottom line is this," he said to the ad sales executives that filled the room. "You obviously have a lot of choices for how and where to throw your money away. We hope you throw your money away on us. This clusterfuck of networks we've assembled will do anything to get your dollars."

The host, who just renewed his contract with ABC through 2022, wasn't the only network talent to appear during the two-hour presentation. The cast of Modern Family also made their way onstage for an extended tribute to the long-running comedy.

Here are Kimmel's best lines from the ABC upfront presentation:

1. "How about our new network president Karey Burke — isn’t she terrific? This is Karey’s first upfront as president. She’s only been on the job since November. And privately she asked me to make it clear to you that the shows you’ve been seeing today are not her fault. She said, and I quote, 'Blame [former ABC president] Channing [Dungey].'"

2. "I can’t believe Channing left us for Netflix. Who does she think she is — our viewers?"

3. "Channing leaving us to work at Netflix was — to borrow a Yiddish term — such a Shonda."

4. "This is my 16th upfront, and it’s great to be here again. That was a lie, but I’ve been doing this so long, I remember when we previewed Lost and Alias and Desperate Housewives. Those were back in the days when Felicity Huffman only played a scheming suburban mom. (Boos from the crowd.) Oh, sorry, members of the USC rowing team are here? I know she did the wrong thing, but I feel bad for Felicity. I heard she couldn’t even get her kid into Tully Hall. That’s how bad things have gone."

5. "This is a historic upfront for this company. For years I’ve been flying out here to tell you that the new ABC shows suck, but this year is different. This year I’m here to tell you that the new FX shows, the new Nat Geo shows — they all suck, too. It’s all coming together."

6. "We finally sealed the deal with Fox. We now own 20th Century Fox, Nat Geo, Fox Searchlight, Hulu, FX, FXX and later this year we are proud to announce FXXX: It’s just Vin Diesel movies and porn, and you’re going to love it."

7. "It really is amazing. We own Disneyland, we own Iron Man and we own Star Wars. At this point, the only cherished memory of your childhood we don’t own is jerking off. And what a year it has been for Bob Iger. What a year."

8. "What a year it’s been for all of us. I mean, Roseanne is gone and the measles are back. Remember last year when you got you all excited for Take Two and The Kids Are Alright and Roseanne and Speechless? Well, 'canceled,' 'canceled,' 'racist,' 'canceled.'"

9. "But we still have the Bachelor franchise. Like the genital herpes it thrives on, The Bachelor will never go away. Last year, we had a virgin bachelor, which was great, so next year to kind of mix things up, we’re going the other way. We got ourselves a real live truck-stop prostitute."

10. "As Karey mentioned, Fresh Off the Boat has been renewed for season number six. She also mentioned that moment after the renewal was announced, one of the stars of the show, Constance Wu tweeted, “So upset right now that I’m literally crying. Ugh. Fuck.” Only on ABC is getting your show picked up the worst thing that could happen to you. Sorry, Constance. At least you got 9,300 likes."

11. We have a new comedy from Kenya Barris called Mixed-ish that you saw and it looks like a really good show, but I don’t know about the title. I feel like before you name a show you should be able to say it five times fast. It sounds like an old Polish woman clearing her throat. But that’s the title, I guess. So now we have Black-ish, Grown-ish, Mixed-ish and Jew-ish — I’m sorry, The Goldbergs."

12. "The bad news is we’re losing one of the funniest and most award-winning comedies of all time. This will be the final season of Modern Family. Modern Family was the rarest of ABC shows — a hit. We don’t see many of them around these parts."

13. "I love that show and I love the cast and I’m going to miss those guys. But you know what? Times change, and you have to stay relevant and you have to be fresh. If we want to engage a younger generation, we’ve got to deliver content that speaks to them. That’s why we’re so excited to announce the show we’ve lined up to replace Modern Family. It’s called A Guy From New Zealand Playing Fortnight. And wait until you see it. It's a guy from New Zealand … and you can guess the rest."

14. And let that be a lesson to CBS, because they are about to lose their longest-running comedy, too. CBS will say goodbye to The Big Bang Theory after 279 episodes. Don’t spoil it for me, I’m 276 episodes behind. It’s weird to think we live in a world where Johnny Galecki has more money than all of us combined."

15. "Speaking of saying goodbye to a beloved television institution, remember last year when you guys gave Les Moonves a standing ovation? That was funny. Whoops. That I still don’t understand. I mean, how is it possible that a network whose logo is literally an eye did not see that coming?"

16. "CBS, if you’re listening, out of respect for what you’ve been going through, this year I’m not going to make jokes about how old your audience is. (Yells.) “I said, this year I’m not going to make jokes about how old your audience is!” They are old, though. Even their young people are named Sheldon at CBS.

17. "CBS has a new drama named All Rise, which sadly is something most of their viewers cannot do."

18. "Meanwhile, over at Fox, The Masked Singer will be back for a second season. And here’s Terry Bradshaw to tell us more about that. I am so bummed I missed that yesterday. Was that some kind of a concussion-awareness PSA? Terry Bradshaw and The Masked Singer — what a stupid time to be alive."

19. "Poor Fox, though. They have nothing left. Fox is now the network equivalent of a divorced dad’s refrigerator. 18-to-49 isn’t even their demo anymore — it’s the number of people who still work there. But they do have wrestling."

20. "And did you know that NBC has the Olympics? Did they mention that? Congratulations, NBC. Once again we get to watch you ride the Olympics to No. 1. You are the pudgy orthodontist with a Maserati of broadcast networks. They’re so pleased with themselves marching out the Tara Lipinski’s and whatnot. We get it. You have the Olympics. What do you want, a medal?"

21. "But that’s not all NBC has. They have This Is Us, which was so popular it was renewed for three years. Or as Constance Wu would call it, a death sentence."

22. "NBC also renewed Law & Order: SVU, which is coming back for a 21st season. And that is amazing, think about it. That means that babies born the year that show started are now old enough to commit sex crimes of their own."

23. "Of course, the big question for all of us is how do we get the so-called Generation Z to watch network television, and I have the answer. Two words: vape-able content."

24. "The good news is that here at ABC we’ve been running a lot of focus groups and we know exactly what Gen Z-ers want. The bad news is it’s Netflix."

25. "Fucking Netflix. They even signed the Obamas. The Obamas are making TV shows and Trump is running the country. If this isn’t some Freaky Friday-type bullshit, I don’t know what is."

26. "Of course, we’re very excited about our new streaming service, Disney+. Or, as I’ve always read it, Disney-Positive. As in, I just got my test results back and I’m Disney-Positive. Disney-Positive sounds like a disease you get from having sex with Aladdin’s money."

27. "There will be no commercials on Disney+ and, like you, I enjoy commercials. When I turn on the TV and see Ray Liotta talking about his struggles with nicotine, it’s the only time I don’t feel alone."

28. "But the new service isn’t free. Basically, parents, you have a choice: You can either pay $7 a month for Disney+, or you can raise your children yourselves."

29. "Apple is making shows now, too. They have Apple TV+. And none of these services have commercials. This is getting bad. I mean, by the end of the year, 34 percent of homes won’t even have traditional ad-based TV. But the good news is if you look under your seats, you’ll find a cyanide capsule. Wash it down with some Whiskey Cavalier."

30. "[ABC’s ad sales chief] Rita Ferro said the future of TV is TV. Even [White House Press Secretary] Sarah Huckabee Sanders is like, “What the fuck kind of horseshit is that?”

See what's new, renewed and canceled at every network with THR's scorecards for ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and The CW. For complete upfronts coverage, bookmark THR.com/upfronts.