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Jimmy Kimmel just phoned me to clarify he was being self-effacing and sarcastic when emails came flooding in to me that he made the comment he doesn’t need writers as host of last night’s American Music Awards (see my Say What?). First, here are Kimmel’s comments in context, as transcribed by an alert DHD reader:

KIMMEL: This is going to be a little bit loose tonight. I’m a member of the writers guild. We’re on strike. It may not look like it, but I’m striking right now in my heart. So I was not allowed to write the jokes for tonight’s event, which is good for those of you in the front area, but bad for the rest of the world who has to sit through made-up crap. So what I’m going to do, instead of entertaining you with my comedy, I’m going to entertain you with my little-seen dancing ability tonight.

JIMMY THEN DANCES LIKE A WHITE GUY.

KIMMEL: See, we don’t need writers.

Just now, Kimmel, a WGA member, asked me to write:

“First of all, I read your column all the time and everyone I know does. And that’s why I was particularly upset to be taken out of context. Anyone who saw the broadcast would understand that I was being sarcastic after doing a ridiculous and sloppy bit at the start of the show — and then jokingly saying, ‘See, I don’t need writers.’

“I had hundred of jokes written before the strike started for this in preparation. And, just to avoid even the appearance of not being supportive of the Guild, I threw them all out. And for anyone to take my comments out of context was unfair and misleading. I still love you, but I just wanted to clear the air on this matter.”