(LOS ANGELES) — Returning Sunday night for a second year as Oscar host, Jimmy Kimmel kept the three-hours-plus show moving along with a variety of comic bits. And though he did mention the #MeToo movement and made a few political jokes, he mostly left the big statements to the presenters and winners.
As was fitting on a night that was so much about female empowerment, one of the biggest laughs of the night came not from Kimmel, but from a woman. Presenting the Best Actress Award with Jennifer Lawrence, Jodie Foster came onstage on crutches. When J.Law asked Foster what happened to her, Foster cracked, “Streep! She I, Tonya-ed me!” To which J.Law replied, “She tripped me once.”
The show started with a black-and-white recorded presentation done in the style of a vintage newsreel, with Kimmel offering a voice-over as a 1950s style announcer. Over footage of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman on the red carpet, Kimmel said, “He’s the king of Wakanda. Imagine, a country with a black leader! Wouldn’t that be swell!”
As the show got underway, Kimmel noted that Sunday night was the 90th Annual Academy Awards. “Our friend Oscar is 90 years old tonight, which means he’s probably at home right now watching Fox News,” he cracked.
He then added, “Oscar is the most beloved and respected man in Hollywood. And there’s a very good reason why. Just look at him. Keeps his hands where you can see them. Never says a rude word and most importantly, no penis at all…that’s the kind of men we need more of in this town.”
Mentioning the sexual misconduct scandals that have rocked Hollywood, Kimmel continued: “We can’t let bad behavior slide anymore. The world is watching us. We need to set an example and the truth is, if we are successful here, if we can work together to stop sexual harassment in the workplace…women will only have to deal with harassment all the time, at every other place they go!”
Then Kimmel said that he was going to move away from that topic, adding, “This is a night for positivity and 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.”
While inviting winners to talk about whatever they wanted to in their acceptance speeches, Kimmel went slightly political again, adding, “If you want to encourage others to join the amazing students at Parkland at their march on the 24th, do that.”
He also encouraged all the winners to keep their speeches short by offering to give away an $18,000 Jet Ski to the person whose remarks were the briefest. While many winners joked about the Jet Ski, they made no attempt to keep things short. The winner was Best Costume Design winner Mark Bridges, who only spoke for 36 seconds. As the show ended, Bridges was wheeled onstage astride the Jet Ski, with Helen Mirren by his side.
In addition to the monologue, Kimmel’s other big comedy set piece was when he collected a group of stars from the audience — Gal Gadot, Emily Blunt, Armie Hammer and Ansel Elgort among them — and walked them across the street to a theater to surprise an audience who were watching a sneak preview of A Wrinkle in Time. The stars appeared in the theater with baskets of snacks, and even a hot dog cannon, and offered the theatergoers not only food, but their sincere thanks for going to the movies.
Here are a few of Kimmel’s other jokes:
“So many of tonight’s nominees are making history, and, in fact, if you are a nominee tonight who isn’t making history — shame on you!”
“Thanks to Guillermo del Toro’s Shape of Water, we will always remember this year as the year men screwed up so badly, women started dating fish.”
“[Meryl Streep] earned her 21st Oscar nomination. Meryl’s film career started in 1977. The longest she ever went without being nominated was from 1992 to 1995 — and that’s only because those were the years she was in prison.”
“The magnificent Christopher Plummer is 88 years old and still going strong. Maybe this is not the place, but there’s something I want to ask you. How does Lin-Manuel Miranda compare to the real Alexander Hamilton?”
“We don’t make films like Call Me by Your Name for money. We make them to upset Mike Pence.”
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