Emmys 2020: Jennifer Aniston, Jimmy Kimmel almost burned down the building

The 2020 Emmys were on fire — almost literally.

For one, it was the first mostly-virtual ceremony in the event’s 72 years, as it had to adjust to the pandemic. For another, Zendaya made history at 24 as the youngest woman to win the Best Actress in a drama prize — even if her fans railed against The Post for misinterpreting the word “upset” in our reporting on her surprise triumph over the likes of Jennifer Aniston and Laura Linney.

But it also nearly burned down the venue, LA’s Staples Center.

Host Jimmy Kimmel, 52, did a bit with Aniston, 51, where they sprayed an envelope with Lysol and set it on fire to “sanitize it.” Although they had an extinguisher, the fire failed to go out the way it did when they practiced in rehearsals, according to co-head writer of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Molly McNearney, who said the most unexpected moment of the night was “almost burning down the Staples Center.”

“That was very scary, by the way,” McNearney told Variety. “… That was not the way it was supposed to go. That extinguisher was supposed to extinguish the first time and it didn’t. I have to tell you that I loved watching it from the sideline, I was there knowing that neither of those two, Jen or Jimmy, had any idea that fire was crawling up that third time was pretty exciting for us.”

McNearny, 42, who is also Kimmel’s wife (they’ve been married since 2013 and have a 6-year-old daughter and 3-year-old son) says she did not intervene because she had confidence in her husband to turn a sticky situation around quickly.

“I may have grabbed some arms to hold them back,” she said. “Which is kind of crazy, ‘let my husband burn!’ But I didn’t want people rushing out. I knew that they would figure it out. I knew they would get that fire out. And of course they did. And I didn’t want to ruin it.”

McNearney said producers were ready to intervene on stage if needed, especially since wildfires continue to ravage California.

“Not a great time to be lighting things on fire in California,” she added.



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