Jimmy Kimmel Threatens Baby Yoda at Disney Upfront

Jimmy Kimmel Disney Upfront 2021
Just another upfront for Jimmy Kimmel

In his annual appearance at Disney’s upfront, Jimmy Kimmel once again bit the hand that feeds him, making fun of the advertising business, network TV and the folks who run the company.

Here’s some of what Kimmel had to say Wednesday at the end of a presentation that included news about the Kardashians coming to Hulu.

"Who would've ever imagined? Who could have ever guessed that one day, Kris Jenner would be open to sponsorships and integrations? Are you telling me the woman who sold her daughters to Skechers is finally ready to cash in? It's like the world, is upside down.

"Should we go through some of the new words we made up this year?

"All right. Let's start with DRAX. As you know, everyone here at Disney is very excited about DRAX, the Disney real-time ad exchange. I don't have a joke for this, I just want to point out how sad that is. 

"With DRAX, we now have the ability to improve programmatic scale across transaction types by allowing biddable deals to compete alongside direct sold and programmatic, guaranteed, versus continuing to operate as a traditional waterfall instead of sticking to the rivers and the lakes that we're used to.

"Next, DAP, the Disney ad platform. It’s back, and this year, we're going to DAP that ass. That's right. That one's free guys, just like every goddamn upfront I've ever done.

"Next, we have frictionless marketing. That means what? Frictionless marketing means we're done dry humping you assholes, pull the money out of your pocket and get off my leg. 

"All right, this one is a little more complicated. Generation stream. What this is we've grouped viewers into four categories:

"Stream Only: That refers to young people who know 10 or more TikTok dances but can't read a clock. 

"Stream Most: These our viewers who occasionally look up from their phones,  mostly to roll their eyes at older people. 

"Stream Also: These are primarily men who are secretly watching porn while their wives watch The Bachelorette

"And finally Stream Four Times a Night: These are viewers with enlarged prostates who watch CBS but can't figure out if Blue Bloods is a TV show or a reverse mortgage commercial. 

"That's Generation Stream.

"After that we have full funnel measurement. Ah, this is a sex thing. This is a very dirty sex thing and I have no idea why Doug Hochstadt [senior VP, revenue and yield management] insisted we include it, but he did. He's a very weird guy.

"So that is our new glossary of bullshit for 2021.

"You know we spend a lot of time making up words, but we're not just marketers trying to make a buck. We're storytellers. Has anyone mentioned that today? We're storytellers. In fact we're telling you a story right now. Not a true story. The story we're telling you now is totally made up. But what do you expect us to do? Tell the truth? The truth is not good. Or do you expect us to tell you that more people contracted blood clots from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine that are currently watching network television? No.

"We don't know what to do right now. Things are so desperate, we've had to resort to doing the right thing, inclusion. We are more inclusive than ever before. We're not just inclusive or all-inclusive like a low-rent swingers resort in Cancun.

"We want ABC, Disney, FX, Hulu, Freeform, ESPN, NatGeo to be a safe space where anyone, no matter what their racial or ethnic background, their gender or sexual orientation, we want our platforms to be the place everyone could bring their stories to die.

"We are doubling down to reach a multicultural audience. And what do you do when you want to bring more people of color under the tent? Guillermo, do you know? What do you do?"

Guillermo, Kimmel's late-night sidekick responds, "I'm not sure. Jimmy."

"I'll tell you what you do," Kimmel continues. "You sign a long-term deal with the NHL. White people on ice. After 17 years the NHL is back on ABC and ESPN. At long last. America's fourth-favorite sport returns to its fifth-favorite network. 

Read Also: Streamers Are Key to NHL Return to Disney

"Oh. Did Rita [Ferro, president of Disney Ad Sales] say we're number one? Okay. I mean number 1 network. You heard today that ABC is number 1, which is a bunch of number 2.

"We are number 1. When sports programming is excluded from the ratings, ABC is at or near the top of the heap. And if you exclude all the murders, John Wayne Gacy was a world-class party clown.

"We do have a few bright spots like Big Sky, the No. 1 new drama that no one has ever heard of or seen. Big Sky is also where our new shows from the last upfront went. 

Read Also: ABC Shares 2021-22 Fall Schedule

"Here at ABC we have two kinds of shows, canceled and I-didn't-know-that-was-still-on. 

"The good news is we have some very funny new shows. The bad news is they're all dramas. They're hilarious.

"The Wonder Years is back. The Wonder Years as in, I wonder what year Greg Erwich [president of ABC Entertainment and Hulu Originals] thinks it is? 1988?

"Our programming strategy is like an old person with a computer that's not working. Shut it down and hope it reboots. This version of The Wonder Years follows a middle-class, Black family in the late '60s, and if you don't buy ads on it, we're going to tell everyone you're racist.

"Speaking of racist, CBS -- just a hunch, I don't know. CBS is once again calling themselves the most-watched network, which, come on, being the most watched network is like being the best-selling fax machine. Congratulations. 

"NBC is planning to move forward with the Olympics this summer, even if they have to kill every last person in Japan to do it. Why doesn't NBC just move the Olympics to Chicago like they do every other show?

"NBC has a new drama called La Brea which is an epic adventure that begins when a massive sinkhole opens in the middle of Los Angeles, killing all of NBC's comedy pilots.

"Instead they have two full nights of Dick Wolf. At ABC we don't have a Dick Wolf. We don't have dick. This guy Dick Wolf is the P.T. Barnum of violent crime. And when you've  got a name like Dick Wolf, it pretty much guarantees you're going to be in charge of stuff. It's like being named Cock Tiger Nuts. You're just going to win.

"Over at Fox, I hate to kick them when they're down, but I think maybe Fox may have come up with the single worst idea of the year. It's called The Big Leap. This is a dramedy about a reality TV dance show, following a group of diverse underdogs putting on a modern hip version of Swan Lake. That show won't make it to the end of this sentence. Here's a tip. If you have to describe something as hip, it isn't. I mean, we need to stop trying to be cool. We're like a grandpa in skinny jeans. We're not cool.

"Isn't there something to be said for dying with dignity? Somehow with everyone stuck in their houses, with nothing to do for the past 14 months, we still managed to lose ratings. 

"These are uncertain times but one thing we can promise is that this company will always be run by a guy named Bob in an open collared shirt. I don't know if he's really ever leaving, but if he does, and I hope he doesn't, but if he does, on behalf of all of us at Disney, I want to say thank you to Bob Iger for everything you've done for me, for us. We say thank you, Bob."

Bob Iger Bob Chapek

Just a couple of guys named Bob

"And also why the f*** was Mulan $30? I thought we got it all for the monthly fee.

"Disney Plus has been a huge success for this company. Instead of having to get people to go to the movies, we now just get their credit card numbers and charge them every month until they pass away. It's a business model we stole from 24 Hour Fitness.

"But Disney Plus is more than just the streaming service. It's a child-care provider. It's a nanny that costs $8 a month. And you don't have to worry about your husband f***ing Disney Plus. At Disney Plus we are making something truly special, something that hasn't been made around here in a very long time, and that's money.

"You know it's hard for networks to compete with these streaming services. At this point. Let's call ABC what it really is: Disney Minus.

"Amazon Prime. These motherf***ers at Amazon, they're spending $465 million on one season of Lord of the Rings. $465 million dollars for a season. Usually to get that much money from Jeff Bezos you have to divorce him.

"It's a lot of money even for him. I wonder what it is about Lord of the Rings that appeals to Jeff Bezos so much. I guess we'll never know. $465 million. You know how much we spend on The Bachelor this year? Eighty bucks, the whole season. We bought a case of wine and a Costco-size box of rubbers and that was it.

"We're all screwed. My kids don't even know what commercials are. I'm sorry to tell you that when we go on vacation we put on Cartoon Network or something, they're like why is this woman doing laundry in the middle of our show? We're a dying breed. But the good news is we're dying together. In fact, that's our theme for the next up front, it's Dying Together.

"I hope to see you all in person next year. Next year I'm going to buy you a Whiskey Cavalier and give you a full-funnel measurement.

"Until then give us your money. You might as well. We're Disney. We're going to get it one way or the other, right? How about this: Give us your money or we'll kill Baby Yoda. Okay? Thank you and good night.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.