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Jimmy Kimmel presents Emmys monologue to a full but fake audience

Emmys host Jimmy Kimmel welcomed viewers and stars to what he deemed “the Pandemmys.”

Kimmel began his opening remarks Sunday in front of what appeared to be a full audience of celebrities — presumably pieced together with footage from previous Emmys ceremonies.

“Thank you for risking everything to be here,” Kimmel joked. “Thank me for risking everything to be here. You know what they say: ‘You can’t have a virus without a host!’ The big question that I guess we should answer is, ‘Why would you have an award show in the middle of a pandemic?’

“Though seriously, I’m asking, why are we having an award show in the middle of a pandemic? What the hell am I doing here? This is the year they decide they have to have a host? ‘Why?’ is a question I’ve been asked a lot this week, and I get it. Yeah, it might seem frivolous and unnecessary to do this during a global pandemic? But you know what else seems frivolous and unnecessary? Doing it every other year.”

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Watch here for live updates on the 2020 Emmys from the Los Angeles Times: Predictions, red-carpet fashion, winners and nominees, the COVID-19-affected telecast and more.

In reality, the comedian is hosting the show from an innovative, socially distanced set located at an empty Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Well, almost empty.

At one point during his speech, Kimmel revealed the actual on-site crowd, composed of several cardboard-cutout nominees — plus a very real Jason Bateman, who engaged in a comedy bit with Kimmel before replacing his current self with a cardboard cutout of his younger self and leaving the arena.

“You can see we have Regina King, Hugh Jackman, Jason Bateman, Meryl Streep — wait a minute. Go back one,” Kimmel said. “Jason? Jason ... I saw your eyes moving. Yes, they did move.”

“Mind your business, Kimmel,” Bateman replied. “This is a big night for me.”

After his monologue, Kimmel surrendered the floor to nominee Jennifer Aniston, who presented the award for comedy actress to “Schitt’s Creek” star Catherine O’Hara.

Find out the winners of the 2020 Emmys with our complete list, updating live during Sunday night’s ceremony.

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