Jimmy Kimmel has nothing but praise for Quinta Brunson after her big win at the 2022 Emmy Awards. Even if his comedy bit during the segment seemed to rub people the wrong way.
Kimmel attended the Walt Disney Company Emmys After Party on Monday, and he spoke with ET’s Matt Cohen about the “Abbott Elementary” star and creator’s exciting win.
“She is so unbelievably talented. And I saw her pilot before it came out on ABC, and I wrote to her, and I was like, ‘I don’t know how we got this, but congratulations. You made a pilot that any network would be ecstatic to get,’” Kimmel recalled, adding “She’s a lovely person as well.”
As for the comedy bit that had some slamming Kimmel on social media, the joke began when Will Arnett dragged Kimmel out onto the stage as they were both set to present the award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series. Arnett joked that Kimmel was passed-out drunk after having lost yet another Emmy to John Oliver.
It was a funny moment, but the problem came when Kimmel, never one to shy away from committing to a bit, stayed on the stage, supposedly unconscious, even after Brunson was announced as the winner and she took the stage to collect her award and deliver a moving speech.
“I had my eyes closed, I had no idea where I was. It was one of the weirdest things that’s ever happened to me,” Kimmel joked about the moment.
While it was clearly all in jest, many viewers thought it was rude and disrespectful to Brunson, or that it took away from her special moment. That being said, Brunson herself seems to not feel that way.
In the press room afterward, Brunson was asked about Kimmel’s Emmy bit, where she was diplomatic about the whole situation but left room for it to fully sink in later.
“I know Jimmy Kimmel, and I don’t know, I feel like the bit didn’t bother me that much. I don’t know what the internet thinks,” Brunson admitted.
The 32-year-old comedian said it was Kimmel who was one of the first people in Hollywood to champion her ABC show.
“Honestly, Jimmy gave me my first big late-night spot. He was one of the first people to see ‘Abbott Elementary’. He was the first person to message me on Instagram. He was so excited it was going to be on ABC. I was happy it was Jimmy. He’s one of the comedy godfathers. I’m a huge fan of Will Arnett, so I was wrapped up in the moment,” Brunson said. “Tomorrow, maybe I’ll be mad at him.”
Brunson is set to be a guest on Wednesday’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” She was asked how she will handle the appearance following the Emmy incident and she quipped, “Maybe I’ll punch him. I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”
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