When Jimmy Kimmel walks into the annual Governors Ball after hosting the 89th Academy Awards on Feb. 26, it won’t be his first time at the glitzy post-show gala. But this time, he has an actual ticket.
“I snuck into the Governors Ball – I think it was in 1995,” the talk-show host tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.
A morning host for Kevin & Bean on KROQ radio at the time, Kimmel and Kevin “put on our tuxedos and we figured if we got there early enough we would become part of the scenery,” the star recalls.
“We hung around for nine hours, then the Oscars ended and everyone started filing in and they did a security sweep and kicked us out. But we made a U-turn and went right back in.”
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Kimmel, 49, ended up nabbing a handful of celebrity interviews for the radio show — and at one point found himself at the mercy of John Travolta, nominated for Best Actor that year for Pulp Fiction.
“We sat down with John Travolta and we told him we snuck in and he was laughing,” he says. “[Travolta] said, ‘Well, did you guys have anything to eat?’ and we said no and he got the waiter to bring us food.”
For much more from Kimmel as he prepares for Hollywood’s biggest night, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday. The 89th Academy Awards kicks off live on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 26, with a 7 p.m. ET preshow and 8:30 p.m. ceremony.