The 2016 Emmys began with the most groanworthy premise for an opening video imaginable, the “I’m late to the awards show” thing that was already tired when Jimmy Fallon did it back in 2005. Starting with blown-up footage from the OJ chase, Kimmel caught a ride with Malcolm Jamal-Warner, The People v. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story’s Al Cowling, before hitching a ride with the cast of Modern Family, singing carpool karaoke with The Late Late Show’s James Corden, and getting turned down for a lift by Veep’s Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale. Then the whole enterprise redeemed itself entirely when the limo driver turned out to be Jeb “Please Clap” Bush.
Bush, who showed occasional flashes of self-awareness during his ill-fated run for the Republican nomination, really leaned into his public image, asking Kimmel, “Are you nominated,” then deadpanning, “Wow. What’s that like?” As with Jeb’s viral hoodie video, there was something endearing about his pathos that transcended politics, harkening back to the days Americans could find solace in the fact that both Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill seemed pretty miserable a lot of the time. Bush yelling “Jeb Exclamation Point!” before screeching off in his limo is an early frontrunner for the night’s best moment, even if the Game of Thrones jokes that followed were a return to mediocre form.