UPDATED with video: Jimmy Kimmel cautiously tip-toed through the year’s political minefield at the top of tonight’s Academy Awards, skewering President Donald Trump, Veep Mike Pence, and Fox News Channel, while giving the industry only the most gentle of roastings.
Two Trump jokes sprinkled in the opening included one about tweeting from his toilet, and another about Trump; having declared Get Out to be “¾ of a good movie” – because, of course, evil white people die in the end.
This year’s ceremony marks Oscar’s 90th year, Kimmel said, which means Oscar is “probably at home watching Fox News.”
Some of tonight’s best picture nominees have not been blockbusters at the boxoffice, Kimmel pointed out, explaining “we” don’t make movies like Call Me By Your Name for money, we make them to upset Mike Pence.”
Deadline's Oscar Live Blog
Acknowledging the industry’s sexual harassment scandals that have become public since Kimmel last hosted the awards ceremony, Kimmel observd Oscar remains the most beloved and respected man in Hollywood for obvious reasons: his hands are where you can see them; and “most importantly he has no penis at all. He is literally a statue of limitations and that is the kind of man we need more of in town.”
Praising the industry’s decision it would “no longer let bad behavior slide, Kimmel snarked “If we can work together to stop sexual harassment in the workplace; women will only have to deal with sexual harassment all the time at every other place they go.”
After ticking off several of this year’s many historic nominations, including Jordan Peele becoming the first African American to be honored with trifecta Oscar noms, Kimmel scolded, “if you are a nominee and not making history: Shame on you.”
ABC’s late-night host seemed eager to establish himself as a guy who was there to keep the crowd happy, noting that in an era of political upheaval, winners should feel free to use the stage to say whatever they want – but he’s giving a prize to whoever says the least.
Setting the tone for viewing at home, Kimmel showed them the jet ski that would be awarded the winner who gave the shortest acceptance speech, with an assist from Helen Mirren.
“Why waste precious time thanking mom when you could be taking her on the ride of her life on a jet ski?” Kimmel encouraged. In the event of a tie, the vehicle would be awarded to Christopher Plummer.
Kimmel finally told the “real” story of last year’s botched Best Picture Oscar. A week before the show he was asked if he wanted to do some comedy with the accountants in charge of tallying the votes. He passed “so the accountants went ahead and did some comedy on their own. It was hilarious; I have to give it to them,” Kimmel said.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.