‘A good subject to take on’
Kimmel saw the recent Golden Globes as ‘litmus test’ for the upcoming Academy Awards
PASADENA, Calif. — As the host of the Oscars in two months, Jimmy Kimmel watched Seth Meyers on the Golden Globes and felt that one of the monologue jokes was written specifically for him.
Meyers said Sunday he felt like the first dog being sent into outer space, as the first awards show host since the flood of reports about sexual misconduct began with stories about Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. How would the audience react to jokes about the topic?
“I do thank him for being that litmus test,” Kimmel said earlier this week.
The topic will surely be talked about at the Oscars, but he can’t write material too far in advance because it’s hard to predict what the public mood will be, or if other news breaks in the interim. “Who’s to say Harvey Weinstein is going to be alive in two months?”
The Time’s Up movement took over the Golden Globes, from the comments winners gave in accepting the awards to the black outfits worn by attendees to show solidarity for women.
Kimmel said it was refreshing how it gave celebrities something to talk about besides fashion on the red carpet.
“How can you argue that this is anything but cool?” he said. “It’s a good subject to take on.”
One subject sure to come up at the Oscars is last year’s epic envelope mix-up in which Warren Beatty mistakenly proclaimed that La La Land was the best picture winner instead of Moonlight. If something that disastrous happens again, “everyone at ABC should be fired,” Kimmel said.
Still, the comedian in him admitted that a repeat “would tickle me deeply.”
Don’t expect ABC to shy away from the moment while promoting the upcoming show. While the network takes what happened seriously, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said that “to not have fun with it would be silly.”
Kimmel defended one of his stunts from last year’s Oscars broadcast, when he surprised a bus full of tourists and brought them into the theatre to meet celebrities in the audience. It could have been a disaster. “Some said it was,” he said.
But he feels it’s important to do something unexpected.
“I do like there to be some danger in the show and I hope that it would be appreciated for what it is,” he said. “You don’t like to have everything buttoned down, because if you do, you’ll bore the audience.”
This past year has been a big one for Kimmel, who competes with CBS’s Stephen Colbert and NBC’s Jimmy Fallon in late night. Kimmel also won attention for his emotional monologues about health care triggered by the needs of his infant son, who was born with a heart defect.
Kimmel dismissed people who argued that he helped save former U.S. president Barack Obama’s health care law when they came at a time Republicans in Congress were considering repeal. He said it was weird to see the response to speaking out on the topic.
“It is overwhelming and it is silly,” he said. “I think that sometimes you get too much credit and too much praise, and this has been one of those times. But you have to accept it, because there are times when you feel the whole world is against you and you don’t understand why.”
Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel can’t write material too far ahead of the March 4 event because the mood of Americans is constantly shifting.