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Jimmy Kimmel prepares for 'very different' Emmys, pants optional

The host of "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" promises to bring irreverence to the socially distanced awards.
Jimmy Kimmel
Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Even though the announcement wasn't made until June, Jimmy Kimmel knew he'd be hosting the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards long before COVID-19 shut down the entertainment industry and stranded us all in our homes and behind masks.

But he's vowing to soldier on with a unique awards ceremony on Sunday, both as host and potential winner (he has three nominations) even though he might not necessarily wear the expected formal outfit.

"I'm just wearing my old tuxedo from the Oscars or something, or maybe the last Emmys," he told Entertainment Weekly in a new interview. "I don't know which tuxedo I'm wearing, but it will be a retread."

That said, the subject of what people will be wearing — pants or no pants — to present and accept awards did come up in the conversation.

"Let's say somebody stands up and they’re not wearing pants, and they've got shorts on, I mean, what if somebody stands up and they’re completely naked from the waist down?" he mused. "That would be fun to see. So I will not tell anyone what to do with their private parts."

He also revealed that they've asked nominees and presenters to come at their socially distanced segments in a lighthearted manner, where appropriate. "I always approach this — and even when I'm not hosting the show — as it's almost like our industry talent show every year, and we’re all responsible for making it fun.... The show is not about me.... And everybody wants to be funny. And everyone’s got a lot of time on their hands right now."

Between all of that will be Kimmel, spending far more time on screen than most award show hosts. "Usually there are big stretches where the host disappears, and we don't have that luxury," he explained. "Typically, in the last hour of the show when you're trying to make up time, the first thing you cut is the host. So yes, we are preparing for as many scenarios as we possibly can."

Still, he does promise that this will be a show to remember. "If you’re one of those people who’s bored by award shows because you feel like they’re all the same, which let’s be honest, most of them are, this one is not going to be the same. This one is going to be very, very different from others. And hopefully we'll never do this again."

The 72nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards will be held on Sunday, Sept. 20, starting at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.