Appearing via Zoom at Disney’s Upfront event in New York City May 17 because he contracted Covid again just eight days since he previously tested positive, the late-night host was feverish with jokes. (Watch the full video below.)
Introduced as “the king of late night” by Rita Ferrero, Disney’s president of advertising sales and partnerships, Kimmel quipped, “I don’t know what multiverse I’m king of late night in, but I appreciate it. And let’s have another round of applause for Rita, the queen of bullshit.”
Disney’s 2022 upfront took place on the Lower East Side of Manhattan at the spacious (but hard to get to) Basketball City. The presentation to advertisers was opened by embattled CEO Bob Chapek and closed by Kimmel. Between the two, stars like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson,” Peyton and Eli Manning, Kerry Washington, Claire Danes, Samuel L. Jackson, and many others entertained the media-buying community and showed off Disney/ABC/Hulu’s new slates of programming. Marvel chief Kevin Feige showed off some of his new stuff, including the “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” trailer.
Kimmel was arguably the most entertaining part of it — as he has been for many, many editions of Disney’s Upfronts over the years: “This is, I think, maybe my 19th upfront. I don’t know, I stopped counting around ‘Cougar Town.'”
Though he did call Disney’s Hulu “the Stephen Baldwin of streaming platforms,” Kimmel saved his deepest barb for Netflix, regarding their recent stock price devaluation. “Every year I say ‘f*ck Netflix,’ and this year it came true,” he said.
Read on for the rest of Kimmel’s best jokes from the event.
—”How about those fuckers at Fox yesterday? After two years of telling everyone COVID is a hoax, they trick you into taking an Uber to watch a tape. Can they do that? And more importantly, why didn’t we do that? There’s no good reason for you to be in that room, but there you are.”
—”When I started doing this, ‘Lost’ was one of our biggest hits. Now it’s our corporate motto here at ABC-ESPN+-Disney+-FX-FXX-NatGeo-FreeForm-HuluLemon — we are one big happy family. And if anyone in Florida asks, a straight family: One mom, one dad, no single uncle living in a guest house.”
—”A Disney CEO has never spoken at the Upfront before, and now we know why. Bob, I think I speak for all of us when I say we can’t wait to see you in ‘GI Jane 2′”
—”Disney has been so committed to being inclusive and culturally sensitive, since everyone started getting mad at us for not. But what do you expect? We’re 100. This company is 100 years old. It’s our 100th anniversary and we’re going to celebrate that milestone like only Disney can by milking the living shit out of it.”
—”ABC, you know, we finished the year in last place both in total viewers and in the demo. And yet somehow we are the number-one entertainment network for the third year in a row. How is that possible? I’ll let you in on a secret: It isn’t — it’s what they call a false positive.”
—”Now [Netflix is] coming for our money, our ad money, which is technically your money, but you know what I mean. It sucks, although I have to admit after those smug bastards choked the life out of us for years, it feels really good to see them stoop to selling advertising. I’m gonna call you scumbags, take you for drinks, kiss your ass. Oh, everybody loves ‘Bridgerton’ right? How much you think they’ll love it when its interrupted by a Nurtec commercial every four minutes, you zillion-dollar dicks.”
—”A lot of people are asking how we’re going to keep ‘The Bachelor’ franchise fresh, and the answer is very simple — we’re not. We are going to keep doing the same shit until everyone has herpes.”
—”After 30 seasons on ABC the venerable ‘Dancing With the Stars’ has been shuffled off to Disney+. That’s right, we’re moving the show watched almost exclusively by senior citizens to a platform watched almost exclusively by children and adult virgins.”
—”Let’s be honest, our days are numbered. Of course the streamers are crushing us. We’re a fax machine five years after they invented email. What we’re experiencing now in television is what a horse felt like the first time it saw a Model T. You know what ABC’s big plan to win back viewers is? Invite Will Smith to the Oscars next year and let him go nuts on anyone he wants.”
—”I know this all seems like a bunch of bullshit, but it’s not. We’re not bullshitting you — we’re storytelling. Yes, our ratings are in the toilet right now. But with your financial support, they could be in one of those fancy Japanese toilets.”
Chris Lindahl and Tony Maglio contributed reporting.