Third-time Academy Awards host Jimmy Kimmel cranked up the fun quotient with his witty asides – except for one misfire – and kept the spirits high at the star-studded ceremony held at Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. While being mock-whisked off the stage by Naatu Naatu dancers, Kimmel called the Telugu production RRR a ‘Bollywood’ film, which got the Twitter world abuzz. The TV presenter, however, hit the ball out of the park with his other one-liners. Here are some of the best Jimmy Kimmel moments from the 95th Academy Awards stage.
Jimmy Kimmel’s introductory video
Kimmel made a savvy entry with a fun introductory video featuring a scene from Top Gun:Maverick where Tom Cruise’s Pete Mitchell is screaming at him to eject from the jet fighter plane. Kimmel then parachute-landed onto the Oscars stage to hoots and claps from the audience. His introductory monologue started off with a pun at the Best Picture-nominated The Banshees of Inisherin.
Babylon’s box-office fate
The 55-year-old host took a dig at Damien Chazelle’s Babylon, which failed at the box office – “I know people like to debate now which is better, movie or TV? But here’s the thing — no matter how good a show is, there are some things movies could do that TV just can’t. For example a TV show can’t lose a hundred million dollars. Is the gang from Babylon here?”
A dig at the Academy Awards
“Some of the cynics are saying James Cameron isn’t here because he didn’t get a Best Director nomination and I find that very hard to believe about a man of such deep humility. He does have a point, I mean how does the Academy not nominate the guy who made Avatar? What do they think he is, a woman?” said Kimmel, taking a jab at the fact that no women filmmakers had been nominated in the Best Director category this year.
Tom Cruise in disguise?
While on the subject of Top Gun: Maverick, Kimmel harped on Tom Cruise’s absence at the awards ceremony. “If you’re hoping to get a look at Tom Cruise, he is not here or maybe he is here. Maybe that’s Tom Cruise right there wearing a Judd Hirsch Mission Impossible mask,” Kimmel joked, while pointing to Judd Hirsch, who poked at his face as if trying to take off a mask. “There’s only one way to find out for sure. Judd, we’re gonna need you to drive a motorcycle off the roof of the theatre,” Kimmel added with a straight face.
Throwback to the Slapgate
With the shadow of last year’s infamous incident – of Will Smith slapping presenter Chris Rock on stage – hovering around, Kimmel brought it up without mincing words. “We want you to feel safe and most importantly we want me to feel safe, so we have strict policies in place. If anyone in this theatre commits an act of violence at any point during the show, you will be awarded the Oscar for Best Actor and permitted to give a 19 minute-long speech,” he said, not sparing even the audience inside the theatre who witnessed the incident from their seats.
“The Academy has a crisis team in place and if anything unpredictable or violent happens during the ceremony, just do what you did last year. Nothing. Just sit there and do absolutely nothing. Maybe even give the assailant a hug.”
The 95th award ceremony did end with an incident-free evening, the tally for which was being kept via a board close to the stage. “Number of Oscars telecasts without incident – 001,” the board flashed.
Almost two hours into the awards ceremony, Kimmel chimed in: “At this point in the show, it kind of makes you miss the slapping a little bit, right?”
Jenny, the emotional support donkey
Kimmel brought in Jenny the donkey seen in The Banshees of Inisherin, rendering the film’s lead actor Colin Farell stumped and happy at the same time. “Not only is Jenny an actor, she’s a certified emotional support donkey. If you are feeling upset or anxious or just love mules, feel free to give her a hug,” Kimmel advised, with the mule walking along with him on the Oscars stage.