The main message from ABC and host Jimmy Kimmel in the lead-up to tonight’s at-home, mid-pandemic Emmy Awards was “this is going to be weird.” Kimmel said as much a few days ago while teasing his plans for the unavoidably unusual telecast, which he had said would involve him, alone, in the Staples Center with an alpaca named Isabelle while all of the nominees sit in front of one of 130 or so sets of laptops, ring lights, and HD cameras so the producers can capture live reactions to whatever’s happening.
For his opening monologue of the “Pandemmys,” though, Kimmel started by pretending that things weren’t weird. He made jokes (including one about Quibi’s very expensive nominations), famous people in the audience laughed, and it was all pretty normal. Sure, a lot of those jokes were about how pointless it is to do something as “frivolous” as the Emmys during a pandemic (before rightfully pointing out that the Emmys are pretty frivolous every year), but eventually he noticed himself in the audience and came to the Earth-shattering realization that the audience was all fake and that he was actually in the Staples Center all alone (which you obviously already knew from reading the preceding paragraph). Well, mostly alone. Kudos to Jason Bateman for putting in what must’ve been a not-insignificant amount of time for what ended up being a pretty good gag.
No appearance from Isabelle, but... it’s probably going to be a long night. Plenty of time for alpacas.