Some of you have been emailing me about the “shocking” stuff that Jimmy Kimmel said at the ABC upfront, just because it was described by The New York Times as “a withering, blistering monologue that took direct aim at ABC [and] its potential advertisers”. I’ve finally caught up with it. Not only am I not shocked, I’m not even surprised. And I have this to say to the NYT‘s Dave Itzkoff (a former Maxim editor): Either you haven’t watched many network upfront presentations. Or you need to man up if you’re trying to tell me what Kimmel said was more ballbusting than previous upfronts. (UPDATE: As a Kimmel insider just told me, “Yeah, Dave didn’t seem to get it. No blow back at all. [ABC Entertainment boss Steve] McPherson was laughing. Like you said, they know what kind of humor Jimmy is going to do. No one was surprised.”)

For instance, Kimmel was hardly harsher than, say, then ABC star Drew Carey who kicked off one of that network’s past presentations with this observation to advertisers, “‘Isn’t it amazing that every year the world gets saved by a network primetime schedule? You get so much smoke blown up your ass you’re going to get cancer!” Or Triumph, the Late Night Insult Comic Dog, who came out at NBC’s 1999-2000 upfront and said this about the primetime schedule: “Oh, yes, very great, entertaining stuff, I watched it all. I haven’t had this much fun since the doctor chopped my nuts off.”

Call me jaded, but I’ve seen enough upfront presentations over 15 years to know that it’s a regular ritual for late night hosts, and series stars, and even the executives, to kick the crap out of their networks and advertisers and even themselves. Remember when Kevin Reilly predicted his own firing as NBC Entertainment President at the May 2007 upfront presentation? A projection screen behind him showed the words ”Big Fat Disappointment” to describe the horrible season it had been? Or when UPN President Dean Valentine saluted WWE’s Smackdown for improving that weblet’s Thursday night ratings 1,063%? “Finally,” he said, “we didn’t suck.” Or when Les Moonves used to star in those made-for-upfront movies that made merciless fun not only of his network rivals but also CBS’ own geriatric audience? In a filmed Star Wars parody starring as “Les Moonwalker”, he meets Yoda, who’s 1,000 years old, and quips, ”Oh, so you’re a big Diagnosis Murder fan.”

As for the series stars, it’s seen as edgy and rebellious and therefore appropriate for them to walk onstage and put down the place that cuts their fat paychecks. “I do standup for a living, and you’re one of the worst crowds I’ve ever been around,” said the star of The Steve Harvey Show one year to weblet WB’s upfront presentation. Another time, ABC Co-Chairmen Stu Bloomberg and Neil Braun were introduced by video showing them surrounded by stacks of teleplays. So Drew Carey wisecracked, “I love that executives who scheduled four hours of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire start out with pictures of themselves looking through scripts.” And when NBC West Coast President Scott Sassa noted how the network’s newly hired Garth Ancier created a radio show at an age when other teens were out having fun, SNL‘s Colin Quinn joked, ”It must reassure you advertisers to know that the NBC Entertainment president is a loner and a psycho!” Also at NBC, Triumph, The Insult Comic Dog, said about the return of Veronica’s Closet on entertainment exec Warren Littlefield’s watch: ”That piece of poop is still on the air? Whose leg did Kirstie Alley have to hump?”

Late night hosts always get off multiple one-liners that regularly remind their network bosses of the programming failures, and never of the successes. The year that CBS managed to beat ABC’s Millionaire with the miniseries Jesus, David Letterman spanked Les Moonves about a heavily promoted Mafia drama that tanked from the very first episode: “Speaking of commandments, thou shalt not schedule eight nights of Falcone.” Back when NBC was starting to slip into last place, Conan O’Brien said the new NBC slogan ”Let Us Entertain You” was an improvement over last year’s: ”Let Us Squander Our Incredible Lead.” And there was the time that Conan imagined a conversation between NBC suits about scheduling a new animated NBC comedy series, Father Of The Pride, based on the big cats in Siegfried & Roy’s act, even though a tiger almost killed Roy. “He’s been horribly mauled. Let’s make a show about it! He might die!”

Jimmy Kimmel when still a newish ABC late night host made an upfront appearance that bashed his bosses. Assessing each network if television were high school, he said, “NBC would be the rich kid whose parents gave him a BMW, CBS would be the straight-A student going to Stanford, Fox would be the jock who’s kind of dumb but gets the chicks, and we would be the fat kid who eats paste.”

Anyway, courtesy of the NYT, here’s a smattering of Kimmel’s Tuesday standup before ABC’s upfront audience filled with advertisers:

“All of ABC’s late night comedy talent is assembled here on one stage.”

“Everything you’re going to hear this week is nonsense. Let’s get real here. Let’s get Dr. Phil-real here. These new fall shows? We’re going to cancel about 90% of them. Maybe more.”

“This [ABC midseason] show Shark Tank has the word tank right in the title.”

“Every year we lie to you and every year you come back for more. You don’t need an upfront. You need therapy. We completely lie to you, and then you pass those lies onto your clients.”

“Next year on Grey’s Anatomy, your product could kill Dr. Izzie. It just depends on how much you want to pay.”

“The important thing to remember is: Who cares? It’s not your money!”