If you’re looking for the personification of the phrase “she who laughs last, laughs best,” then look no further than Quinta Brunson, who turned the tables on her friend Jimmy Kimmel during his Wednesday night’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! and interrupted his opening monologue to finish her Emmy acceptance speech.
For context, earlier this week, Brunson took home the award for Outstanding Writer in a Comedy Series for Abbott Elementary’s pilot episode. It was a celebratory moment except for one little thing: a very still and seemingly unmovable Jimmy Kimmel, who was lying on the floor with his eyes closed as part of a bit done just before the winner was announced. Many online took offense to the move, as they felt he was taking away Brunson’s shine at the moment. Abbott star and fellow Emmy-winner Sheryl Lee Ralph also felt the move showed “disrespect.”
However, despite the internet’s outrage, Brunson herself later explained that the bit “didn’t bother” her and expressed her gratitude for Kimmel being one of the first people to express his excitement over her freshman show.
“I know Jimmy Kimmel and I felt like the bit didn’t bother me that much,” Brunson said in the press room after her win. “Jimmy gave me my first big late-night spot, was one of the first people to see Abbott and Instagram messaged me to say he thought this was one of the greatest comedies of all time and he was so excited it was going to be on ABC.”
She later reiterated similar sentiments during her guest appearance on Kimmel’s show on Wednesday, explaining that she was caught up in the excitement of the moment.
“People said I stole your moment and maybe I did, and I’m sorry I did do that,” Kimmel said. “Also, the last thing I would ever want to do is upset you because I think so much of you. I think you know that. I hope you know that.”
“Jimmy, let me just say thank you,” Brunson responded, per Deadline. “It’s very kind of you to say that. Honestly, I was in such a moment of having a good time. I won my first Emmy! I was up there like, you know, happy! And I was wrapped up in the moment, just having a good time. I didn’t see any of that honestly, I had a good night. It was a good night and a good time.”
Congratulations, Quinta! Season two of Abbott Elementary premieres Wednesday, Sep. 21 on ABC and streaming next day on Hulu.