Mark Burnett was happy to be the target of Jimmy Kimmel's jokes on Sunday

By Stephanie Petit
Updated September 19, 2016 08:40 AM
Credit: Getty

Producer Mark Burnett has no problem being the target of Jimmy Kimmel‘s zingers.

Although the Emmys host pointed the finger at Burnett for Donald Trump‘s transition from the reality television world to politics during his monologue at the awards show, the producer won’t be losing any sleep over the farce.

“I’ve known Jimmy Kimmel for many, many years. He’s hilarious, I love him,” Burnett told reporters backstage. “It’s easy to be a good sport; it’s comedy.”

In Burnett’s eyes, the Republican presidential nominee’s political run is a prime example of how the world is changing – and it’s not the last time an unexpected candidate will go far.

The man behind Survivor and The Voice says, “I think it’s just an example, ’16. There will be a much bigger version of this in ’20 and ’24.”

As for Trump, the producer doesn’t think Kimmel will be having any problems with the 70-year-old business mogul.

“I’m sure Donald’s thrilled with Jimmy,” Burnett says. “I bet he’s emailing Jimmy right now, thanks so much for the free publicity.”

He added, “How much free media can any one person get?”

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TV’s biggest night launched with a monologue from Kimmel that skewered many famous faces in the audience. Of course, the current political climate played a large part.

After a Jeb Bush-filled opening video, the late night host went into a gag about blaming Burnett for Trump’s political success.

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“Television can also tear us apart,” Kimmel said. “If it wasn’t for TV, would Donald Trump be running for president? No, he would be at home quietly rubbing up against his wife Malaria while she pretends to be asleep.”

The host then threw a few digs at the reality show producer.

“Many have asked who is to blame for Donald Trump. And I’ll tell you who … Mark Burnett, the man who brought us Celebrity Apprentice,” said Kimmel as the camera panned to a laughing Burnett. “Thanks to him, we don’t have to watch reality shows anymore because we’re living in one.”

“Thank you, Mark. Thank you for coming all the way from England to tear us apart,” Kimmel continued. “You sneaky little crumpet muncher, you.”

Pointing Burnett out – “He’s responsible,” Kimmel said. “I’m going on the record right now: If Donald Trump gets elected and he builds that wall, the first person we’re throwing over it is Mark Burnett.”