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Emmys 2016: the best part of Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue was about O.J. Simpson

Alex Abad-Santos is a senior correspondent who explains what society obsesses over, from Marvel and movies to fitness and skin care. He came to Vox in 2014. Prior to that, he worked at the Atlantic.

One of the biggest television stories of 2016 was the focus on the O.J. Simpson trial and Simpson himself, via two different miniseries. FX's The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story and ESPN's O.J.: Made in America were two standout, very important shows.

This didn't go unnoticed at the Emmys. Not only was The People v. O.J. Simpson nominated 22 times for various awards, but host Jimmy Kimmel called out the moment during his opening monologue. And he made it just awkward enough for everyone involved.

"Are you rooting for O.J. to win this time?" Kimmel asked Marcia Clark, who attended the ceremony as Sarah Paulson's guest. Paulson played Clark in FX's series.

"If you win, are you going to thank O.J.?" Kimmel asked John Travolta, who also starred in the FX series, as Robert Shapiro, one of Simpson's attorneys. "Technically, you wouldn't be here without him, right?"

Kimmel also poked fun at Cuba Gooding Jr., who played Simpson, saying Gooding was so good he was convinced that he could have done the murder.

It's a little dark. It's a little hilarious. And all the jokes are slightly surreal, in that the entire audience is laughing about a double murder. As this year has shown us, comedy and television can get really weird and awkward sometimes.

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