Jimmy Kimmel Admits That His Emmys Prank Took Away From Quinta Brunson's Big Winning Moment

Jimmy Kimmel and Quinta Brunson
Randy Holmes/ABC via Getty Images

The late-night host opened up to Howard Stern about his regrets over his comedy bit at this year's Emmys.

Owning up to his error in judgment. Jimmy Kimmel admitted that he's come to realize how his comedy bit at this year's Emmy Awards came at the expense of Quinta Brunson's big moment.

The Jimmy Kimmel Live host recently sat down for a chat on SiriusXM’s The Howard Stern Show, and recalled how the idea for the joke came about.

"I said, ‘Will [Arnett], wouldn’t it be funny, because I know [my show] is going to lose to John Oliver, if you could just drag me out there and say I was upset, and I had a few drinks, and I was just kind of unconscious?'" Kimmel recounted to Stern of the bit, which went down as he and Arnett presented the award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.

"How I visualized this happening is he drags me out, we read the winner, and then I’m just basically just out of the shot, and it’s not really a factor," Kimmel continued. "But the stage was very different. The stage was like a catwalk. So, I was kind of like in the way."

Kimmel also addressed some of the critics who accused him of pulling the stunt because it was Brunson who won, saying, "Some people read racial stuff into this, and everybody has their own perspective, but the fact of the matter is … this was a plan I had no matter who [won]."

While Kimmel says he never meant for it to become a big deal -- and he apologized to Brunson after the event on his show -- he admitted to Stern, "It did take away -- especially afterward -- because then she had to answer questions about [my prank] instead of just celebrating her Emmy."

Two days after the Emmys, Brunson was a guest on Kimmel's show and the Abbott Elementary star and creator jokingly interrupted Kimmel's monologue to show off her shiny, new Emmy Award. 

Kimmel was well into his monologue when Brunson came onto the stage. “You know how when you win an Emmy you only have 45 seconds to do an acceptance speech, which is not that much time?” she said. “And then you get less time because somebody does a dumb comedy bit that goes on a bit too long."

Later, while sitting down for their interview, Kimmel apologized to Brunson for the viral Emmys moment, sharing, “People got upset, they said I stole your moment and maybe I did and I’m very sorry if I did do that,” he said, before correcting himself. “I’m sorry I did do that, actually. And also, the last thing I would ever want to do is upset you because I think so much of you. I think you know that, I hope you know that."

For more on Brunson's big win, see the video below.