Jimmy Kimmel scorched a bit more earth than usual in his 16th appearance at ABC’s upfront, an appropriate increase in scale and intensity given the super-sized, merger-enhanced affair, which showcased not just ABC but the newly enlarged Disney portfolio.
Kimmel, of course, did not miss the opportunity to take shots at the “clusterf–k” of assets arrayed by Disney in recent months. Having just reinforced his home base at ABC and signing a three-year contract extension, he sharpened the knife during the set as usual, but in some ways was less brutal on his own network than he was on the competition. Along the way, President Donald Trump, Constance Wu, the Disney-Fox deal and many other targets were in the late-night comic’s line of sight.
Here are some of the best lines:
— On former ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey moving to an executive role at Netflix: “I can’t believe Channing left us for Netflix — who does she think she is, our viewers? Channing leaving us to work at Netflix was, to borrow a Yiddish term, such a Shonda.”
— “I’ve been doing this [upfront] so long, I remember when we were premiering Lost and Alias and Desperate Housewives. Those were the days when Felicity Huffman only played a scheming suburban mom.”
— “This year is special. This is a historic upfront for this company. For years, I’ve been flying out here to tell you that the new ABC shows suck. This year, I’m here to tell you that the new FX shows, the new Nat Geo shows, they all suck, too. It’s all coming together.”
— “We own Disneyland, we own Iron Man and we own Star Wars. At this point, the only cherished memory of your childhood we don’t own is jerking off. What a year it’s been for Bob Iger ….”
— “What a year it’s been for all of us. Roseanne is gone, and the measles are back. Remember last year when we got you all excited for Take Two and The Kids Are Alright and Roseanne and Speechless? Well, canceled, canceled, racist, canceled.”
— On Wu’s tweet about the renewal of Fresh Off the Boat (which was displayed on the big screen for attendees): “Only on ABC is getting your show picked up the worst thing that can happen to you.”
— “Modern Family was the rarest of ABC shows: A hit. You don’t see much of that anymore in these parts.”
— On the Les Moonves meltdown at CBS: “Remember last year when you guys gave Les Moonves a standing ovation? That was funny. Whoops! That, I still don’t understand. I mean, how is it that a network whose logo is literally an eye did not see that coming?”
— “Meanwhile, over at Fox, the Masked Singer will be back for a second season. And here’s Terry Bradshaw to tell us more about it. I am so bummed that I missed that. Was that some kind of concussion awareness PSA? Terry Bradshaw and the Masked Singer. What a stupid time to be alive.”
— “Poor Fox, though. They have nothing left. They’re the network equivalent of a divorced dad’s refrigerator. Eighteen to 49 isn’t even their demo anymore. It’s the number of people who still work there.”
— “And NBC has the Olympics. Did they mention that? Congratulations to NBC. Once again we get to watch you ride the Olympics to No. 1. You’re the pudgy orthodontist with a Maserati of broadcast networks.”
— “The good news is, here at ABC, we’ve been running a lot of focus groups. And the good news is, we know exactly what Gen Zers want. The bad news is, it’s Netflix. F–kin’ Netflix. They even signed the Obamas. The Obamas are making TV shows and Trump is running the country. If that isn’t some Freaky Friday-type bullsh-t, I don’t know what it is.”
— ‘Parents, with Disney+, you have a choice. You can either pay $7 for Disney+, or you can raise your children yourself.”
— “This is getting bad. By the end of the year, 34% of homes won’t even have traditional, ad-based TV. But the good news is, if you look under your seats, you’ll find a cyanide capsule. Wash it down with some Whiskey Cavalier. [Disney ad sales chief] Rita Ferro said, ‘The future of TV is TV.’ Even Sarah Huckabee Sanders was like, ‘What the f–k kind of bulls–t are you telling them?'”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.