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Emmys host Jimmy Kimmel lit up the Hollywood audience with jokes about diversity and the making of Donald Trump during his opening monologue on Sunday night.
Amid controversy over diversity in Hollywood and the Oscars’ continuing #OscarsSoWhite talk, Kimmel delivered a backhanded compliment to the Emmys and Hollywood.
“This year’s nominees are the most diverse ever,” he said of the 2016 Emmys. “And here in Hollywood, the only thing we value more than diversity is congratulating ourselves on how much we value diversity. The Emmys are so diverse this year, the Oscars are telling people we’re one of their closest friends.”
He then had a person of color find a white person and “say thanks for your bravery.” Cue a hug between Ty Burrell of “Modern Family” and Aziz Ansari of “Master of None.”
— Yahoo TV (@YahooTV) September 19, 2016
With that problem solved, Kimmel moved on to who should be blamed for Trump’s rise as the 2016 Republican presidential nominee.
“If it weren’t for television, would Donald Trump be running for president? No,” Kimmel said. “He would be at home right now quietly rubbing up against his wife, Malaria, while she pretends to be asleep.”
Kimmel then wondered aloud about who exactly should be blamed for the Trump phenomenon. In fact, Kimmel said, that person was sitting in the audience.
“That’s right. That guy. Mark Burnett, the man who brought us ‘Celebrity Apprentice,'” Kimmel said. “Thanks to Mark Burnett, we don’t have to watch reality shows anymore, because we’re living in one. Thank-you, Mark.”
He then nominated Burnett to be the first one thrown over the wall if Trump wins and actually builds one along the border with Mexico.
Kimmel wasn’t done pointing fingers. He jokingly announced that the show had a new rule that winners had to be present to accept the award or it would go to the next person on the list. Who inspired the rule change?
“It’s called the Maggie Smith rule,” he said of the “Downton Abbey” actress. “If you don’t know Maggie Smith, she has been nominated for the Emmy nine times. She has won the Emmy three times. How many times do you think she showed up here to get the Emmy? That’s right, no times. This year, she had a Sunday ceramics class.”
Watch Kimmel’s opening monologue below: