Jimmy Kimmel’s annual roast at the Disney-ABC upfront is a tradition – the late-night host’s regular takedown of his own network ABC as well as a consistent stream of jokes about the age of CBS viewers has long been a highlight of the week-long ad sales jaunt.
This year, Disney held is upfronts digitally – the Disney Virtual Roadshow – as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event was broadcast to advertisers on Wednesday May 27 (and made available to journalists under embargo) but Kimmel’s appearance was pre-recorded before then, hence the levity and the fact that there’s no reference to the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent protests.
Kimmel has focused on these topics during his show this week and last, including a poignant monologue about his own white privilege.
During the ten-minute ‘virtual roast’ for ad buyers, the comedian, performing this gig for the 17th time, took aim at the likes of TikTok, Quibi, and Peacock. Read the jokes below.
ABC / TikTok
I know that in previous years, many of you thought that there’s no way that the ABC Upfront could possibly get any worse, and to that I say, welcome to the Disney Virtual Roadshow. We call it a roadshow, because just like the roadshow on PBS, we are also selling antiques. How’s it a roadshow if we’re not going anywhere?
Let’s call it for what it is, a cry for help. We are a mess. We don’t know who our boss is. Kevin Mayer quit us to go work for Chinese identity thieves, even our executives are leaving us for a younger audience.
Kevin went to TikTok — the app, not the lime disease podcast — because he didn’t get to be the Bob. Everybody wants to be the Bob. Bob Iger, as you know, stepped down as CEO in February, and Bob Chapek took over. Good timing, right? He’s a genius. It’s confusing, but bottom line is, this company is run by a guy named Bob and we lost all of our money.
Here I am, standing here like a f*cking fool with nobody watching. I feel like every show on Quibi right now.
What a time to be on Planet Earth. Who would have thought that the only thing alive on earth in the year 2020 would be network television? What an exciting time to be an ad buyer — at any time, the President of the United States could claim that drinking your product cures the Coronavirus.
ABC, our network, was in many ways very well prepared for this pandemic. Our shows have been socially distancing themselves from young people for years, but as you heard earlier, we are back, we are number one in primetime entertainment, which is a category that we made up while we were locked up at home. We’re number one if you don’t factor in sports, we’re number one if you don’t factor in the only thing that anyone watches anymore. We are also the number one network alphabetically.
Monday Night Football
The exciting news is that for the first time since 2005, for one night only, Monday Night Football makes its triumphant return to ABC. This fall, the Raiders will face the Saints in front of a sold-out crowd of inflatable sex dolls. Isn’t that perfect, we finally got a Monday Night Game again, and for the first time ever, ‘are you ready for some football’ is not a hypothetical question, we really don’t know.
NBC / Olympics
The biggest loser is NBC. Remember last year how much those dicks kept bragging about the Olympics? That’s what you get for being a show-off. The truth is, I don’t know what they’re whining about over there, you could just run the Olympics from 2016 again, who the f*ck would know. Hey, that’s not this year’s U.S. badminton team. The Olympics have been postponed until 2021, and 2021 has been postponed to 2022.
We don’t have the Olympics, no one does, but we have something better than the Olympics, we have Disney+. It’s thriving, that’s right, our most successful platform is the one that you’re not allowed to be on.
Now NBC, after we tested Disney positive, they decided to launch their own streaming service, Peacock. Peacock is if you’ve ever said ‘gee, I can’t find that DVD box set of Frasier my sister bought me for Christmas in 2005, I wish there was a way that I could pay for it every month forever’. That’s Peacock.
Peacock has vowed to not run more than five minutes of advertising per hour, and the advertising community has vowed not to buy more than 4 minutes of advertising per hour. NBC even said they won’t allow Netflix to advertise on Peacock. If not on Peacock, how are people going to find out about Netflix? That’s not fair. Why does Netflix even need commercials, it’s like cocaine, the people who want it will find it.
Even Netflix can’t resist the so-called old media. Because the old media has some new tricks up our old sleeves, like advanced advertising, which doesn’t just tell you the age, gender and income level of the viewer you’re trying to reach, but it gives you specific insight, like ‘do they own a vacuum, when will they need a new vacuum, what is their address, so we can drive to their house and steal the new vacuum from their porch when it shows up’.
We have programmatic buying, where the machines do the purchasing, like when your Roomba gets horny and orders you another Roomba. And as far as ROI goes, forget the ‘r’, this year there will be no return on your investment. It’s just one of the sacrifices that you’ll have to make to keep us afloat.
The good news is after everything that’s happened, we’re still here, new platforms, they come and go, but television is here to stay whether you watch it or not. Forget about what these other guys are doing, just remember what TV doesn’t do.
TV doesn’t buffer, TV never freezes up on you, TV doesn’t constantly suggest which other shows you should watch, TV doesn’t ask you for a password you can’t remember or if you accept cookies, or start playing the next episode without giving you time to say that you don’t want to watch another episode, and before you know it, the sun is coming up and you’ve just finished a season of Riverdale. TV will also never keep a list of all the porn you’ve ever watched. Because we’re old school. We might be dinosaurs, but you know what, dinosaurs roamed the earth for 160M years.
We have no idea what the future holds, but if you enjoyed this upfront, don’t forget to like and fave and give us a follow, we’ve also got a GoFundMe if you want to support our work. It’s a shame we can’t be together to do this in person, but we can’t, there’s a vulnerable population of elderly CBS viewers we have to protect. Maybe next year.
You want shrimp, next year we’ll give you shrimp, but in the meantime, we need cash. Disneyland hasn’t sold a churro in months, and to make up for it, we are going to ream your asses this year so give us everything. Take off your pants and shake them upside down, just do it.
My weed guy just showed up, I’ve got to go. Remember life is precious, make every moment count, we have no idea how long we have left, and you just wasted half an hour on this, but thank you for doing that. We’ll mail you some shrimp.
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