Jimmy Kimmel took the stage at ABC’s annual upfront presentation to advertisers on Tuesday and lit into his network’s recent show cancellations, sitcom star Roseanne Barr, and, of course, President Donald Trump.
“We have a new slogan this year ABC. Our new slogan is ‘Forward Together.’ Hillary Clinton had a yard sale, and she let us have that for almost nothing,” the late-night host began, in a routine meant to poke fun at the TV network business while advertisers field offers to place their products on the various platforms.
“Fox needs help. They canceled Lucifer and The Exorcist — they can’t even make a deal with the devil,” Kimmel continued. “Our company is in the midst of negotiations to buy Fox. It seemed like a done deal, and then last week, Comcast, like the surprise ex-boyfriend who shows up on The Bachelorette right before she gets engaged, Comcast shows up and weasels its way into our business. We got peacock-blocked, is what happened.”
“We have a lot riding on this merger [with Fox]. We can’t lose Fox and [Grey’s Anatomyproducer] Shonda Rhimes in one year,” Kimmel said. “She’s an amazing talent who changed the face of this network. She’s now leaving for Netflix. I can honestly say on behalf of everyone here at ABC who worked with her for so long, we hope she rots in hell… We’re very sad. As the old saying goes, ‘When one door closes, you’re fucked.’”
“So we’re saying goodbye to Shondaland and going headfirst into Roseanne-istan with no exit plan,” Kimmel said of Barr, who also entertained the audience at the annual sales presentation with a better-than-expected rendition of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” in front of ABC’s American Idol judges.
“Our biggliest hit of the year is Roseanne … so everyone who says Hollywood is out of ideas, we’re not. It’s just that one of our new ideas was to Google, ‘What were our old ideas?’” Kimmel continued.
“No one was expecting Roseanne to be a big hit. But to be honest, we don’t expect any of our shows to be hits. Roseanne‘s success proves that the older and crazier you are, the more today’s audience likes you,” he said. “That’s why we’re proud to announce our new show: Gary Busey Proves 9/11 Never Happened.”
Kimmel appeared to turn up the heat on his network with some searing one-liners, that, according to Entertainment Weekly, earned the ABC funnyman some audible groans from the advertiser-heavy audience. Though he said in a recent interview that he intended to avoid roasting President Trump, Kimmel apparently couldn’t resist.
“Millennials are not just cutting the cord, they’re eating the placenta,” Kimmel joked. “We’re not the only one doing our greatest hits. Everyone is. Will and Grace, Fuller House, Murphy Brown — that’s right, CBS knows what millennials want, and they’ll be damned if they give it to them.”
“I have to admit I’m excited about Murphy Brown. It’s refreshing to see anything brown on CBS,” he added to reported groans. “We even canceled Marvel’s Inhumans. Somehow we managed to have the only unsuccessful project with the word ‘Marvel’ in the title. Ever. It had never been done before.”
“Nathan Filion is returning to TV, which is great news if you were worried your Aunt Joanne wouldn’t be horny enough this fall,” Kimmel joked before finally bringing his set to an end.
“We have a new reality dating show called The Proposal. Contestants compete to marry someone they haven’t met. I haven’t seen this yet, but it sounds like it isn’t so much a dating show as a thinly veiled sex trafficking operation,” Kimmel said.
“Our ratings are going down, and our prices are going up. Too bad, eat it,” he said. “Our president is a lunatic, and we’re all gonna die. If this continues, it won’t say R.I.P. on our headstones, it will say K.P.I.”