This year’s socially distanced ceremony saw nominees receiving their awards from home for the first time ever – so those watching the show were baffled when celebrities such as Jon Hamm and Sandra Oh could be seen laughing along to Kimmel’s jokes in the crowd.
After a few minutes of keeping up pretences, Kimmel finally said: “Of course I’m here alone, of course there isn’t an audience.” The audience seen on screen had been edited in from previous years and made to look like they were on the live show.
Using the opportunity to have a dig at Donald Trump, Kimmel added: “This isn’t a MAGA rally, this is the Emmys.”
Before leaving the stage he couldn’t resist one last gag, saying: “Let’s have a standing ovation for me.” Mahershala Ali, Alec Baldwin and hundreds of other celebrities were then shown getting on their feet to applaud him – again, in shots taken from archival footage.
Viewers were not impressed. “For the love of god please just explain the audience is fake,” wrote on exasperated Twitter user.
“Rough start,” added another.
“Oh my gosh the fake audience at the beginning of the Emmy’s was so stressful,” said a third.