"This has been a miserable year. It's been a year of division, injustice, disease, Zoom school, disaster and death," he continued. "We've been quarantined and locked down, we've been confined to our homes like prisoners in a dark and lonely tunnel. And what did we find in that dark and lonely tunnel? I'll tell you what we found: a friend who's there for us 24 hours a day, our old pal television."
"Television is there for you," he joked.
Kimmel, who is hosting the Emmys for the third time, gave his speech from a mostly empty (except for a non-cardboard cutout of Jason Bateman, of course) Staples Center in Los Angeles Sunday night.
"Just like prom night," Kimmel said when the lights came up to reveal he was alone on the stage, despite footage of audiences from previous Emmys playing prior to his appearance.
"Of course we don't have an audience. This isn't a MAGA rally, it's the Emmys," he joked, taking a swipe at President Donald Trump.
"We're doing this as safely as we possibly can," he previously joked to "Good Morning America" about the safety precautions being taken at the awards show, "because, as we know, there's no one more important than celebrities."
"My nightmare is that I'm on primetime television, completely alone, unable to speak to anybody, and I've got a bunch of Emmys that need to be handed out and I don't have anyone to give them to," he said.
Ever the funnyman, he added, "I guess I could just take them!"
Kimmel was announced as the host in June, noting at the time, "I don't know where we will do this or how we will do this or even why we are doing this, but we are doing it and I am hosting it."