Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel opened the 43rd annual ICG Publicists Guild Awards luncheon by saying grace.

“Thank you, Lord, for this food and these gifts," Kimmel said at the podium Wednesday, his head bowed. “Please watch over us and forgive us for all the lies we told Us Weekly last year. And please forgive us for all the lies we’re going to tell Us Weekly next year.” Amen.

Kimmel dubbed the awards "the Pubies" (pronounced pew-bies) and spoke admiringly of the work of all the powerhouse publicists packing the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom. “It’s been an incredible year for all of you," he said. “You’ve changed illicit affairs into love stories and turned eating disorders into diet tips. You even changed Tom Cruise from a couch-jumping lunatic into a man deeply in love with a woman one of you in this room set him up with.”

On the Nick Lachey/Jessica Simpson divorce, Kimmel marveled, “Thanks to someone here, Nick and Jessica broke up so many times last year that when the split was finally announced, it did not become a real national emergency and we all remained calm.”

Kimmel felt whoever handled Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie deserved extra credit. “Talk about making lemonade out of a lemon. You have a man who cheated on his wife — Jennifer Aniston, one of the most beloved humans outside of Oprah — with a woman who, last time we checked, was making out with her brother and wearing Billy Bob‘s blood in a vial around her neck."

"But one of you here said, ‘I know how to fix this. Brad will adopt a baby! And not just any baby. An Ethiopian baby! And we’ll release lots of photos of him carrying it around but not letting it drive his car!’ It was diabolical genius and you should be very proud.”

Photo: Teri Hatcher cracks up at Jimmy Kimmel’s offstage joke before she makes a Publicists Awards presentation.
(Craig T. Mathew / Mathew Imaging)

]]>“Desperate Housewives” Teri Hatcher also got gushy when she presented the Television Showman of the Year Award to her dear friend, ABC honcho Stephen McPherson. Ditto Hilary Swank, who presented the Motion Picture Showmen of the Year award to Warner Bros. honchos Barry Meyer, chairman and CEO, and Alan Horn, president and COO.

Marcia Gay Harden actually read a poem she’d written for her publicist entitled, “My Publicist Always Wears Black” prompting Kimmel to recite a ditty for his own publicist: “Lewis Kay, I must say, I cannot believe, you’re not gay,” causing many in the audience to practically spit out their chocolate cake dessert.

Hatcher, who had so much fun at the “Pubies” that she agreed to appear on Kimmel’s late night show, did such a good job presenting that he brought her back onstage to give another one to USA Today entertainment reporter Scott Bowles. Accepting his Press Award, Bowles also praised the pubs. “Thank you for this… Pubie. You guys do more work on my stories than I do. But I won’t tell my bosses if you don’t."

Oh-oh. Hope they don’t read this.

Posted by:LATimes