The Emmys aren’t a free-for-all like the Golden Globes, but neither are they stodgy like the Oscars. But at this year’s ceremony, one comedy bit went, some felt, a little too far. The good news: Quinta Brunson won an award for Best Writing for a Comedy Series for Abbott Elementary, the feel good school comedy that took the airwaves by storm in its very first season. Good for her! (And for Sheryl Lee Ralph, who gave a helluva speech.) But Brunson was almost upstaged by one of her presenters.
— •C (@westspalace) September 13, 2022
Jimmy Kimmel and Will Arnett were there to present the award, but Kimmel decided to do a bit: He pretended he got smashed on skinny margaritas after he and his Jimmy Kimmel Live! team lost for Best Variety Talk Series to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. He spent the presentation portion fake-passed out on the floor. Then he stayed there, even when Brunson came up to collect.
“Jimmy, wake up, I won,” Brunson said as she stepped over Kimmel, playing with the joke. But still he didn’t move. Perhaps he realized his moment for an exit had passed. Perhaps he realized he hadn’t fully thought through this bit and that it would be weird if he suddenly bolted upright and hightailed it out of Dodge. So he laid there throughout the whole thing.
Brunson was a good sport, delivering her acceptance speech, where she sincerely thanked all who helped her score a hit show. When she was done, she thanked Kimmel, too, who was so committed to the bit that he had to be dragged off by Arnett.
— Chris Gardner (@chrissgardner) September 13, 2022
Not everyone thought it was funny, though.
jimmy kimmel laying on the floor while quinta has her moment is extremely irritating
— Connor Perrett (@connorperrett) September 13, 2022
The "dead Jimmy Kimmel" bit was mildly funny, then incredibly ill-conceived when he kept doing it while Quinta Brunson was trying to celebrate a career high point.
— Noel Murray (@NoelMu) September 13, 2022
— Garin Pirnia (@gpirnia) September 13, 2022
— Finessa_Trilliams💋🇬🇭 🐝 (@C_Jill_Run) September 13, 2022
— BLACK LIVES MATTER (@willowhalliwell) September 13, 2022
Still, at least Brunson got to finish her whole speech. Jennifer Coolidge, winning for The White Lotus, tried unsuccessfully to get the night’s DJ to stop from playing her off, even after she busted some moves.
As per Deadline, Brunson was asked backstage about Kimmel’s antics, or lack thereof. “I don’t know I know Jimmy Kimmel. The bit didn’t bother me,” she replied. “Honestly, Jimmy gave me my first big late night spot, he was one of first people to see Abbott Elementary. He was the first person to message me on Instagram. He was so excited it was going to be on ABC. I was happy it was Jimmy. He’s one of the comedy godfathers. Tomorrow maybe I’ll be mad at him.”
As it happens, they may wind up discussing it sooner rather than later: She’s scheduled to be on his show Thursday. “Maybe I’ll punch him,” Brunson said.