Opening his stand-up routine Tuesday afternoon for TV industry types, advertising buyers, and a smattering of journalists at Lincoln Center’s Geffen Hall, Kimmel noted that his 1-year-old son Billy—whose emergency post-natal heart surgery prevented Kimmel’s appearance last year—is “doing much, much better than network television.”
Kimmel mocked ABC’s new millennial-centric Freeform cable and satellite channel, saying, “I’ve been a big Freeform fan since 20 minutes ago” when he first heard of it backstage.
He dissed ABC’s inspiring slogan “Forward Together”: “Hillary Clinton had a yard sale.”
He also took note of the corporate melodrama in which NBCUniversal owner Comcast has thrown a wrench into Disney’s agreement to buy 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets by bidding a premium to Disney’s offer.
“It seemed to be a done deal and then last week Comcast—who, like the surprise ex-boyfriend who shows up on The Bachelorette right before she’s about to get engaged—Comcast shows up and weasels their way into our business.
“We got Peacock-blocked is what happened.”
Kimmel went on: “We have a lot riding on this merger. We can’t lose Fox and Shonda Rhimes in one year.”
Pointing out that the legendary showrunner of such ABC hits as Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder is decamping for Netflix, Kimmel said: “Shonda is an amazing talent and a person who changed the face of this network. And now that she’s leaving for Netflix, I can honestly say on behalf of everyone here at ABC who worked with her for so long: We hope she rots in hell.”
He added: “So we’re saying goodbye to Shondaland and we’re going headfirst into Roseanne-istan…Roseanne’s success proves the older and crazier you are, the more today’s audience likes you. And that’s why we’re proud to announce our new series: Gary Busey Proves 9/11 Never Happened…
“Our new strategy is resurrecting old crap. I have three words for you: Who’s the Boss? Literally, who the hell is running this place?”
Kimmel was especially vicious about CBS, the network that “knows what millennials want and they’ll be damned if they give it to them .”
He continued: “I’m kinda excited about Murphy Brown. It’s refreshing to see anything brown on CBS.”
As for NBC, Kimmel claimed that execs were seriously considering reviving The Cosby Show. “Obviously they can’t call it that. They’re calling it: The Bad Doctor.”
Turning his mockery back on his own network, Kimmel told the advertisers being bombarded with the new season’s programming schedule, with zero idea of how it will do, “You really won’t find out until you’re all really fucked.”
Praising ABC’s penchant for “stories that have never been told before on television,” he showed a clip from an actual episode of Grey’s Anatomy that aired last November, in which a female patient is wheeled into the emergency room complaining of stomach pains, and suddenly a gun goes off and wounds a nearby patient.
“Did you put a gun in your vagina?” a doctor demands, and the patient sheepishly confesses.
“We’re pleased to announce Shonda Rhimes’s final show before she leaves for Netflix,” Kimmel said, as a graphic appeared with the doctor’s question serving as the title of the purported program.
Lamenting the eroding audience for network television, and the viewing habits of young people who increasingly opt for streaming video, Kimmel said: “They’re not just cutting the cord. They’re eating the placenta.”
Lampooning the increasingly incomprehensible jargon of the TV biz, Kimmel focused on the term “blockchain.”
“Nobody has any idea what it is. You don’t know. We definitely don’t know. But what we do know is we’re gonna charge you up the ass for it…Our ratings are going down and our prices are going up. Too bad. Eat it.”
Since no Kimmel shtick would be complete without reference to a certain public figure, Kimmel concluded: “Our president is a lunatic and we’re all gonna die.”