For the fifth year, Kimmel’s studio moved from Los Angeles to the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s theater where he taped his show in front of a live studio audience of well over 2,000 people, who waited in line for hours around the building.
The stage was designed to look like New York City, complete with a Penn Station set and a subway station backdrop behind the late night host’s desk, which was also decked out in a “Brooklyn” sign.
“This is our second home…This is our Mar-A-Lago,” Kimmel said when he stepped out for his monologue at the BAM theater, which, aside from that Trump dig, pretty much kept politics off the table.
Kimmel’s sidekick, Guillermo, was dressed up in a costume that appeared to be a cross between the statue of liberty and a ballerina. When Kimmel asked him what he was wearing, he said he was the “Staten Island Fairy.”
“Brooklyn is like no other place,” Kimmel told Variety, which was present at the Monday night taping. “The people are the funniest, the food is the best and we look forward to our annual visit all year.”
Kimmel’s opening included New York sports smack-talking (“This is the rare week when Yankees fans get to experience what it feels like to be a Mets fan all the time”) and a laugh-out-loud taped piece in which Kimmel secretly recorded taxi passengers muting his backseat cab videos. One of the pranked couples from the taxi skit was invited to the show and was sitting in the audience. Also in the audience was Guillermo’s son, whom Kimmel joined for an off-camera mini-skit during commercial break and teased that he “came out of the womb with a mustache.” Guillermo’s son made clear he was not impressed by his dad’s fairy (or, ferry) costume.
After Springsteen’s lengthy interview, in which he discussed his upcoming movie “Western Stars,” the New Jersey legend was followed by New York native Alicia Keys, who spoke about her upcoming autobiography and her concert at Barclays Center for Tidal and Rock the Vote. For Keys, the appearance on Kimmel was a convenient stop, given that Barclays was about a three minute walk from the BAM theater — in fact, the commute was so convenient, she decided to bring the audience along with her.
When Kimmel pointed out that the Monday night Barclays event was completely sold out, Keys agreed, but then said she had saved some seats for a few of her friends. She then let the audience know that those “friends” were actually them. Thousands of Kimmel’s Brooklyn audience were given free tickets to the benefit, and then escorted a few blocks away by Kimmel and Keys, who led the walk to the arena where Keys was performing, alongside French Montana, G-Eazy, Ty Dolla $ign and more musicians with radio superstar Angie Martinez hosting the night.
Keys’ surprise had Kimmel’s audience cheering louder than when Guillermo shot t-shirts into the crowd with a t-shirt gun, which was a highlight of the night during commercial breaks.
Kimmel will be in Brooklyn shooting his ABC show all week long.