Watch Jimmy Kimmel Give His (Awkward) Emmys Monologue to an Empty Theater

The Emmys have been around since the ’40s, so it’s not exactly an awards show with a lot of firsts—but this year didn’t leave them much of a choice. Despite what some would like to believe, the COVID-19 pandemic is still something we should all be taking seriously, so instead of requiring nominees to attend, ABC told everyone to just stay home. Well, almost everyone.

Host Jimmy Kimmel and his crew are still coming to you live from the Staples Center on September 20, only the nominees and audience at large are tuning in remotely. With such an unprecedented virtual-first setup, industry insiders and fans alike wondered how TF they’d pull it off. And Kimmel was tasked with setting the tone with his first address to the audience.

Instead of just showing Jimmy talking to an empty convention center, ABC used old footage from previous Emmys ceremonies, which was super confusing at first but ended up being a hilarious bit. After flashing to videos of outfits we’ve definitely seen on these celebs before, Jimmy made it clear that he was actually talking to a bunch of cardboard cutouts…and a socially distant Jason Bateman.

Jason Bateman makes a surprise #Emmys appearance

Then, Jimmy walked to a room and was surrounded by screens and screens *and screens* of actors watching him perform his monologue before greeting Jennifer Aniston for the first award. It was a whole ~thing,~ but the beginning of the ceremony turned out so well, TBH! Check it out:

Emmys 2020: Jimmy Kimmel and TV’s biggest names kick off the show #Emmys

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