Quinta Brunson Gets Revenge Against Jimmy Kimmel for His Controversial Emmys Bit

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Quinta Brunson got back at Jimmy Kimmel for his controversial Emmys bit the best way she could... Interrupting his monologue! The creator, writer and star of Abbott Elementary appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live Wednesday, just days after the late-night host drew ire online for sticking to a bit that had him laying down on the Emmys stage during Brunson's acceptance speech for the Outstanding Writing For a Comedy Series.

On Wednesday, Brunson interrupted Kimmel's monologue to show off her shiny, new Emmy award. The famed talk show host tweeted a photo from her appearance, writing, "Look who interrupted Jimmy’s monologue tonight!"

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,” the creator continued. 

Apologizing to Brunson for the viral Emmys moment Monday night, Kimmel said, “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.”

Brunson responded, “Thank you, that’s kind, but honestly I had a good night.”

Planting the blame on his co-presenter, Will Arnett, Kimmel continued, “And I should also say, it was really Will Arnett’s fault, the whole thing. He drugged me and he dragged me out there and I was unconscious,” he said, adding, “Screw Bojack and that Horseman he rode in on!”

Brunson previously joked about how she'd treat Kimmel during her impending JKL appearance, quipping "Maybe I'll punch him. I don't know. We'll see what happens."

Then, at ABC's TCA press day, Brunson teased her JKL appearance once more, telling reporters, "I'm going to tape [Jimmy Kimmel Live!] right after this. It will be a good old-fashioned conversation. I think it will be a good time. You'll have to tune in and watch."

The controversy started when Will Arnett dragged a jokingly lifeless Kimmel onto the stage to present the award. "Thirteenth time in a row that he’s lost and he just got into the skinny margaritas back there," Arnett joked of Kimmel's Emmy loss to Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.

When Brunson received the award, she played along with the bit, saying, "Jimmy, wake up. I won."

Quinta Brunson
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Afterward, in the press room, Brunson weighed in on Kimmel's joke. "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," she told the cameras.

"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 added. "Tomorrow, maybe I’ll be mad at him."

As for Kimmel, in a post-show interview with ET's Matt Cohen, he quipped of his onstage bit, "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."

He went on to praise Brunson and celebrate her big 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 said. "She's a lovely person as well."

Later, Brunson and Kimmel seemed to make light of the polarizing moment when the former proudly held up her Emmy Award in front of the latter's face in a pic shared on social media. Even so, Brunson's co-star, Sheryl Lee Ralph, who also won an Emmy Monday night, didn't mince words when discussing the situation during ABC's TCA day.

"I was absolutely confused," she told reporters of watching the joke unfold. "I didn't know what was going on. But I was like, 'I wish that man would just get up off the ground.' Then I realized it was Jimmy Kimmel. Ooh, the disrespect, Jimmy! But that's just me. I told him, too, to his face. He understood."

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