Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel had some jokes about last year’s infamous slap saga.
While many events have occurred on the Academy Awards stage since it began in 1929, none have been as memorable as the drama that unfolded when Will Smith climbed the stage to slap Chris Rock for making fun of his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith’s shaved head. Thus, it was unavoidable that this year’s host would use the rare gem in his monologue when he kicked off the ceremony on Sunday night.
Jimmy Kimmel Hits At Will Smith During Oscars Monologue With Multiple Quips
After two decades of making people laugh from the desk of his late-night talk show, Kimmel returned to the Oscars stage for the third time as the ceremony’s host — and fans were not disappointed. The 55-year-old came with his A-game, including quality jab material about the Rock-Smith incident. Per PEOPLE, the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” executive producer kept his jokes relatively light as he began:
“Five Irish actors are nominated tonight, which means the chances of a fight just went way up. We want you to have fun, feel safe, and, most importantly, we want me to feel safe.”
Although Kimmel quipped that there were “strict policies in place,” any guest who committed “an act of violence” during the ceremony would be awarded the “Oscar for Best Actor” alongside permission to “give a 19-minute long speech.”
The jokester added that if “anything unpredictable or violent” happened during the ceremony, attendees were expected to “sit there and do absolutely nothing. Maybe even give the assailant a hug.”
“And if any of you get mad at a joke and decide you want to get jiggy with it — it’s not going to be easy,” the father-of-four concluded before giving a shout-out to onscreen fighters in the audience like Michelle Yeoh and Michael B. Jordan’s ‘Creed.’
As the ceremony approached the two-hour mark, the Daytime Emmy Awards winner asked the crowd, “At this point in the show, it kind of makes you miss the slapping a little bit, right?”
Despite having other jokes regarding Ozempic and Tom Cruise’s affiliation with Scientology, Kimmel wrapped up the award event with one last slap joke. To that end, the Brooklyn-born celebrity walked backstage to a sign with the words, “Number of Oscars Telecasts Without Incident,” flipping the zero to one.
Minus “The Serious Goose” writer’s winning jokes, the night’s biggest winner was “Everything Everywhere All At Once.” The 2022 sci-fi adventure led the pack with seven wins, including the coveted Best Picture with individual recognitions for Ke Huy Quan, Yeoh, and Jamie Lee Curtis.
In addition to the Best Picture win, “EEAAO” also earned nods in the Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Editing, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original screenplay categories.
Will Smith Graces Jay Shetty’s L.A Show Alongside Other Notable Stars
In case you missed it, Will could not attend this year’s Oscars following his decade-long ban from the show as a repercussion for the infamous slap. However, instead of staying home and watching his colleagues have all the fun, the father-of-three opted to take his wife to the life coach guru Jay Shetty’s show in Los Angeles.
The 54-year-old and Jada were seen posing with Shetty, Adrienne “Gammy” Banfield-Norris, and Lauren London at the Love Rules show, which was held at the YouTube Theater. According to Daily Mail, the synopsis of the event which was also attended by Jason Segel, Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, and Lily Collins, read:
“‘Jay will take the audience on a journey of finding, keeping, and even letting go of love. Including live meditations, experiments, and demonstrations, this will be an unforgettable and transformational evening.”
Meanwhile, the disgraced Will was replaced by actress Halle Berry, who presented the Best Actor and Best Actress nods to the recipients — Brendan Fraser for “The Whale” and Yeoh for “EEAAO.” Fans shared their sadness at the turn of events, especially since the “Amend: The Fight for America” actor had apologized for his Oscars misstep.
“My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear, and I reacted emotionally,” the “Emancipation” lead partially wrote.
As for Rock, the standup comedian addressed the issue during his recently held Netflix special, “Special Outrage.”