Los Angeles: Comedian Jimmy Kimmel kicked off the Emmy Awards with a sharp monologue in which he did not shy from talking about the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and the diversity in Hollywood.
He began with a video montage that saw him hitching a ride to the Emmys with the cast of "Modern Family", sharing a "Carpool Karaoke" with James Corden, a limo carrying Julia Louis-Dreyfus with Jeb Bush as the driver and ultimately getting dropped off by Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen atop her hulking dragon.
Once Kimmel safely took the stage flanked by fiery digital screens, he worked through jabs at many of the year's major nominees.
Kimmel had a few lines ready for Sarah Paulson, who brought former O.J. Simpson prosecutor and her "American Crime Story" character Marcia Clark as her plus-one to the ceremony.
Kimmel ribbed her, "So, are you rooting for OJ to win tonight?"
It was a virtual inevitability that the election would come up in the monologue, and Kimmel didn't fail to touch on Trump's rise.
Kimmel placed the blame directly on "Celebrity Apprentice" creator Mark Burnett, who had enabled the candidate by affording him a sensationalist reality platform.
"He is sitting right there. Thanks to Mark Burnett, we don't have to watch reality shows anymore before we're living in one."
"When Trump builds that wall, the first one going over is Mark Burnett," Kimmel said mocking Trump's plan to build a wall between Mexico and the United States.
Kimmel, 48, observed that this year's set of Emmy nominees is the most diverse ever, adding that the only thing Hollywood loves more than diversity is congratulating themselves for diversity.
Later in the broadcast, he announced that "Dr Bill Cosby" was going to be walking onstage, and then followed it up, a few seconds later, with "Don't worry, he's not really here, I just wanted to see what you guys would do."
Kimmel saved some of his best material for Maggie Smith.
The perennial winner for her role as the Dowager Countess on "Downton Abbey" seldom shows up for the ceremony, and Kimmel threatened her with a total revocation of her awards if she fails to come personally collect them.