Jimmy Kimmel tees up for Oscars hosting gig
Last year’s Academy Awards screw-up seen around the world wasn’t Jimmy Kimmel’s fault. Still, he feels responsible. USA TODAY
PASADENA, Calif. — Jimmy Kimmel will host the 90th Academy Awards on March 4, his second consecutive stint on the trophy show. Does he fear 2018 will offer a repeat of last year's infamous screw-up, in which La La Land was mistakenly announced as best picture instead of Moonlight?
"If it happens again, literally everyone who works at ABC should be fired," he told the Television Critics Association on Monday. Still, he says, even last year, "99% of it went well."
On the morning after the Golden Globe Awards, he praised host Seth Meyers for tackling the thorny issue of sexual harassment in jokes. Kimmel said he felt Meyers "made a joke last night that was specifically for me," when he said "his monologue was like sending the first dog in space. I do think Seth was like a litmus test."
He expects the topic to remain a hot-button issue, even two months from now, but planning is impossible. "It's like getting into a hot tub; You can't really know what the temperature is until you get there. Suffice it to say we'll probably deal with it, unless there's a nuclear weapon heading to Sacramento that night."
What he won't talk about: Health care, an issue that raised his profile substantially when he advocated for his son, who needed several surgeries. "You have to remember why you're there, to entertain people on the biggest night of their lives. If it gets too heavy, you're taking away from that."
But he reflected on the attention he drew: "I know there's people who gave me credit for saving Obamacare, and I reject that," he said. "I feel like I happened into a situation at a very specific time in American history in which I was able to say something that hopefully at least made people pay attention ... (and) got them to pick up the telephone and tell their leaders and what they want."
And with a chorus urging his pal Oprah Winfrey to run for president in 2020, after a rousing speech at the Globes, is he on board?
"Given the choice between Oprah and our current president, I'm on the bus with Oprah, traveling the country and urging people to vote." Except, he joked, "we'd have to call her President Winfrey, and I don't know if we're prepared for that as a country."