Elizabeth Leonard
March 01, 2018 03:02 PM

Sure, Jimmy Kimmel will throw his heart, soul and a whole lot of comedic muscle into making this year’s Oscars a night to remember. But the Jimmy Kimmel Live! star, who returns to host the 90th Academy Awards on March 4, knows that’s not what really matters at the end of the day.

“The truth is it’s just a television show,” he tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue.

“It’s not that I’m not going to work as hard as I possibly can, but the next day my son Billy isn’t going to care whether the show was funny or not. He just wants me to throw him up in the air because he loves it.”

Jimmy Kimmel and son Billy
Jimmy Kimmel/Instagram

That hard-won perspective is especially resonant for Kimmel after watching Billy, now 10 months old, endure serious health issues since birth.

  • For more about Kimmel, check out this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

“Having a child that had heart surgery is a great way to reset your life and remind you of what is important,” he says, adding that Billy is “doing really well, couldn’t be better.”

RELATED VIDEO: Jimmy Kimmel Explains the Challenges of Potty Training

While the A-list host is busy honing his monologue, whittling down jokes and prepping to play to the star-studded crowd on Sunday night, he knows his post-show future is decidedly less glam.

“The reality of it is that if the Oscars end at 9pm, within 12 hours I will be wiping poop off my son’s butt,” Kimmel says.

“Hopefully I will have had time to change out of my tux.”

The 2018 Oscars ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4 and will be televised live on ABC at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

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