You expect mean from Jimmy Kimmel. You just hope you'll also get funny.
The last time he hosted the Emmys, in 2012, the balance was off. This time, returning Sunday as ABC's host, his opening moments hit it just right.
Give the credit to an excellent pretaped bit — a particularly hard thing to pull off, considering how many of these things we've seen over the years. Kimmel's kicked off with a spoof on both the white Bronco chase and FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson miniseries, and then quickly moved on to insert him into a variety of shows, as he tried to get a ride to the Emmys. He got into a car with the Modern Family cast and then did some carpool karaoke with James Corden ("You've got to sing in the car, Jimmy.")
Photos: 68th Annual Primetime Emmy Red Carpet
Then, in the best bit of all, he tried to hitch a ride with Veep's president, Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) —only to realize the driver was a shockingly funny Jeb Bush. "Were you nominated?," he asked Kimmel. "Wow, what's that like?"
The monologue that followed was short and, for Kimmel, almost sweet. Oh yes, there were jabs at Marcia Clark, Donald Trump and Maggie Smith, but they were more good-natured than nasty.