Abbott Elementary Creator Quinta Brunson Visits Jimmy Kimmel and Earns Apology : NPR


Quinta Brunson checks out Jimmy Kimmel as he poses onstage at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in Los Angeles.

Mark Terrill/Mark Terrill/Invision/AP

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Mark Terrill/Mark Terrill/Invision/AP

Quinta Brunson checks out Jimmy Kimmel as he poses onstage at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards on Monday, Sept. 12, 2022, in Los Angeles.

Mark Terrill/Mark Terrill/Invision/AP

LOS ANGELES — Quinta Brunson, the creator of “Abbott Elementary,” took revenge for Jimmy Kimmel’s Emmy prank with one of her own, then garnered an apology from the late-night host whose part was criticized as crude and worse.

Kimmel, who had distracted from Brunson’s Emmys acceptance speech by pretending to be drunk on stage, was delivering her monologue on Wednesday when a pretty Brunson in pink appeared.

“I just have a small favor to ask of you,” she said. “So you know when you win an Emmy you only have 45 seconds to give an acceptance speech, which isn’t that long. And then…you get less time because somebody’s doing a silly comedy that lasts a bit too long?”

“I’ve heard of this in years past,” Kimmel replied.

“Well, I was wondering, or not, more demanding if I could have a few extra minutes to think about, you know, a few more people,” Brunson said. Kimmel stepped back to cede the spotlight to his guest, and later on the show told Brunson he was sorry for what he did at the Emmys on Monday.

Brunson’s and Kimmel’s shows share a network, ABC.

Brunson won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series and found herself sharing the stage with Kimmel – who was flat on her back being dragged by fellow presenter Will Arnett because the late-night host had supposedly had too many “Skinny Margaritas”. Kimmel nudged Brunson for his award but didn’t budge, a move that has been criticized online as rash by some and cited as an example of white male arrogance by others.

“Abbott Elementary,” about an underfunded Philadelphia school, won a total of three Emmy Awards for its first season, including one for co-star Sheryl Lee Ralph for Best Comedic Supporting Actress.

On Kimmel’s show, Brunson received loud applause from the studio audience when she thanked “all the fans of the show” and then joined the host for a chat.

He started with a one-liner — “Congratulations on your Emmy. I missed it, how did it go?” – then apologized, starting with an awkwardly qualified mea culpa start.

“It was a silly comedy that we thought would be funny,” he said. “Then people got mad, they said I stole your moment. And maybe I did. I’m really sorry if I did that. I did that, actually. … The last thing I want to do is get mad at you, because I think about you so much. I think you know that. I hope you know that.

“That’s very sweet of you to say that,” Brunson replied, graciously, avoiding direct criticism of Kimmel. She said she was “excited for the moment” after winning her first Emmy and with Arnett and Kimmel on stage with her.

“Honestly, I had a great night. It was a great night and a great time,” she said.

Kimmel, who called it all Arnett’s fault, praised Brunson’s streak and noted that he never won an Emmy despite repeated trips to the awards.

“And I went there once and won,” she said, delivering the dig with a smile.

Kimmel issued a final apology, adding, “I was stupid, and I have news: it’s going to happen again.”

Earlier Wednesday, Brunson and his castmates took questions from TV critics during a virtual roundtable, with Ralph expressing his displeasure with Kimmel’s Emmy act. “I was like, ‘Oh, the disrespect, Jimmy,'” Ralph recalled.

She sarcastically called it “lovely that he was lying on the floor during his wonderful acceptance speech. “I told him that too, to his face, and he got it,” Ralph said.

When Brunson was asked what she expected from her appearance with Kimmel, she said she “planned that we were going to have a good old-fashioned time” and that she intended to mark the return of season two of “Abbott Elementary” on September 21.

Brunson said she and Kimmel had spoken before but did not detail their private conversation. Backstage at the Emmys on Monday, Brunson said she didn’t mind “that much” and noted that Kimmel has been a booster of her and “Abbott Elementary”. If she decides she’s mad at him, a smiling Brunson added, she might “punch him in the face” when he appeared on his show.


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