“What could possibly go wrong?” is the tagline on the key art for the 90th Oscars, as late night’s Jimmy Kimmel returns to host the event following last year’s Best Picture debacle.
He received praise for how he handled La La Land being mistakenly announced instead of actual winner Moonlight, and Kimmel told reporters at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour it’s not something that is likely to be repeated.
“If it happens again, literally everybody at ABC should be fired,” he quipped.
So many jokes have been made about the subject that it’s a challenge finding a fresh way to approach it, Kimmel said.
ABC President Channing Dungey said what happened last year was significant and it would seem silly not to poke a little fun at it, but “my personal preferance would be we give it some nods and then move forward,” she said.
The 90th [Oscars] for us is incredibly important,” Dungey said. “This is a show that’s going to be celebrating legends past and present.”
So, what will Kimmel joke about during the award show?
Sexual misconduct scandals, of course. Although he’ll have a much better sense of how he plans to approach the issue closer to the date.
The Oscars will be held on Sunday, March 4 at 8 p.m. EST, a half hour earlier than previous years.
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“The problem is it’s two months from now,” Kimmel said. “It’s almost like getting into a hot tub. You can’t really know what the temperature will be until you get in.”
On a side note, he revealed the gender breakdown in the writers room for Jimmy Kimmel Live is five female writers, and eight male writers, including himself.
Kimmel has not shied from addressing healthcare on his show, opening up about his infant son’s struggle with congenital heart condition, but will steer clear of that subject at the award ceremony.
“I don’t intent to use The Oscars as a platform for healthcare,” he said. “Ultimately you have to remember why you’re there, and it’s not about you. You’re there to entertain people. If it gets too heavy you’re taking away from that. Unless something major happens that makes me feel compelled to do it, I don’t necessarily see tackling that matter at the show.”
But he will take every opportunity he can find to rib on Matt Damon.
And ultimately, Kimmel said he makes it a point to watch all the movies that have been nominated, and he hopes the people in the room will do the same so that his jokes about them don’t fall flat.
Never one to leave politics out of the conversation, he compared the benefits of a popular film being nominated to that of the Donald Trump presidency.
“When you make a joke about him, people understand the reference,” he said. “And that’s what would be great about having a popular movie nominated. You can take a shortcut to the punch line.”