How Did They Do That? In the back of the Scenes of the 2020 Emmys

How did that audience during the monologue feel so real? 

If you’re as fashion-obsessed as we are, you likely noticed immediately that all the celebs were wearing looks from years past. But if you’re not, it might have taken a second to fully understand that the audience footage that played during Kimmel’s opening monologue was not live. In fact, it was carefully chosen and edited together to feel as real possible—with some input from the man who knows exactly what it sounds like to have people laugh at his jokes. 

“Jimmy had the idea that he should be a cutaway at the end, and he’s in the audience himself,” McNearney said. “They’ve been working on that for weeks now. And pulling all those clips and making sure it sounded right. Even Jimmy was like, ‘Wait, typically when I deliver a joke, it takes one second. And then people laugh.’ So he paid such close attention to the detail of the timing on the applause. He was like, ‘People don’t clap immediately, you can feel the roll of a joke over a crowd.’ And so thankfully, we had some great editors that helped make that sound realistic.”

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