Jimmy Kimmel Kicks Off the 2018 Oscars with a Biting Opening Monologue
Jimmy Kimmel returned to the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center stage on Sunday to host the 90th annual Academy Awards for a second consecutive year
Jimmy Kimmel returned to the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center stage on Sunday to host the 90th annual Academy Awards for a second consecutive year.
The 50-year-old talk show host famously emceed the ceremony last year, when the wrong film was announced as the best picture winner — something Kimmel didn’t waste time mentioning.
“Some of you will be going home tonight with an Academy Award. This year, when you hear your name called, don’t get up right away,” he joked.
“What happened last year was unfortunate,” Kimmel continued, explaining that last year, the Oscars producers wanted him to do a comedy bit with the PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants. “I said, ‘No, I don’t want to do comedy with the accountants.’ And then the accountants went and did comedy on their own.”
As for the accountants’ declaration that their focus this year will be solely on the envelope, Kimmel wondered, “What was your focus the other 89 years?”
Elsewhere in his opener, Kimmel addressed the hot topics that have been making headlines in Hollywood over the past year, including the battle for equal pay and the 50-plus women who have come forward against disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein.
“What happened with Harvey and what’s happening all over is long overdue,” Kimmel said, adding that Weinstein has been expelled from the Academy. “If we can work together to stop sexual harassment in the workplace, if we can do that, women will only have to deal with that every other place they go.”
“We will remember this year as the year men screwed up so badly, women started dating fish,” he joked with a nod to the plot of best picture nominee The Shape of Water.
To donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which will provide subsidized legal support to women and men in all industries who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace, visit its GoFundMe page. Learn more about Time’s Up, an organization of women in entertainment combating sexual harassment and inequality, on its website.
But this being “a night of positivity,” Kimmel said the Oscars would be about celebrating the industry’s successes.
“Ceilings have been shattered,” he said, calling out best director nominees Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele. “Our plan is to shine a light on a group of outstanding and inspiring films, each and every one of which got crushed by Black Panther this weekend.”
Last year, Kimmel received rave reviews for his performance as host. He held nothing back while making a few jabs at Mel Gibson, Justin Timberlake and Manchester by the Sea. And of course, he brought his ongoing feud with longtime rival Matt Damon to the show.
He also made several jokes in his monologue about the political climate in Donald Trump’s presidency. “This broadcast is being watched live by millions of Americans and around the world in more than 225 countries that now hate us,” he joked at the top of the show. “And I think that is an amazing thing.”
“I want to say thank you to President Trump,” he added. “Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist? It’s gone, thanks to him!”
But Kimmel got sincere too. “The country is divided right now,” he said. “I’m not the man to unite this country, but it can be done. If every person watching this show … took a minute to reach out to one person to disagree with, someone you like, and have a positive considerate conversation — not as liberals or conservatives, but as Americans, we could make America great again. It starts with us.”
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Kimmel has been applauded over the past year for his inspiring and emotional Jimmy Kimmel Live! monologues challenging the Trump administration’s stances on health insurance, immigration and gun violence prevention.
The 2018 Oscars are airing live on ABC.