Jimmy Kimmel to host Oscars
Late night television presenter Jimmy Kimmel ended months of speculation on Monday over who would host the Oscars in February — announcing that he has been tapped to front the glitzy ceremony.
It will be the first time for the comedian, who has hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live! on ABC since it launched in 2003 and garnered praise for his work as host of this year’s Emmys television awards.
“Yes, I am hosting the Oscars. This is not a prank. And if it is, my revenge on @TheAcademy will be terrible & sweet,” the 49-year-old New Yorker jokes on Twitter.
His selection was later confirmed by Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd, the multiple Oscar- and Emmy-nominated duo producing the 89th Oscars ceremony, which airs live on ABC television on Feb 26.
“Jimmy’s ability to connect with people is what makes him a singular choice for this job,” they said in a joint statement.
“His frank observations, relatable persona, wry humor and love of all kinds of film make him a natural fit for the Oscars stage.”
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs says she is thrilled to have a host who “knows who he is — he knows the audience”, while CEO Dawn Hudson describes Kimmel as “razor sharp, funny and unpredictable”.
ABC, which pays the Academy a reported $75 million a year to broadcast the Oscars, struck a new deal in August giving executives more creative input.
“Jimmy is the perfect choice for us. He is deeply rooted in the Hollywood community and gifted at connecting with an audience as the consummate emcee,” says ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey.
Jimmy Kimmel, television host.