How did Jimmy Kimmel do as host of the 2023 Oscars: terrible or…?

There were many Oscar highlights, but let’s be honest, there were many Oscar lowlights, including the nature and delivery of the telecast itself. Some people believe that what happened last year – Will Smith slapping Chris Rock live on stage – was the end of the Oscars as we know it, and the Oscars needed to go super-traditional and staid this year as a way to “get back to normal.” The people who believe that hired Jimmy Kimmel as host and gave him free reign to make “jokes” at Will Smith’s expense. Here’s his opening monologue:

“We want you to feel safe, and most importantly, we want me to feel safe, so if we have strict policies in place. If anyone in this theater commits an act of violence, at any point during the show, you will be awarded the Oscar for Best Actor and permitted to give a nineteen-minute long speech. No, but seriously, the Academy has a crisis team in place. If anything unpredictable or violent happens during the ceremony, just do what you did last year: nothing. Sit there and do absolutely nothing. Maybe even give the assailant a hug. And if any of you get mad at a joke and want to come here and get jiggy with it, it’s not gonna be easy…”

Like, he lost me completely. Criticizing last year’s audience for… not freaking out when the slap happened? When several people in the room – including the titans of Black hollywood Tyler Perry, Denzel Washington and Bradley Cooper – all took it upon themselves to manage the crisis and speak to Will to calm him down? What was supposed to happen, in Kimmel’s mind? Was supposed to tackle Will when he accepted his Oscar? Kimmel is just salty because he was one of the comics who saw Rock get slapped and thought “what if that happened to ME?” Anyway, I found it the wrong tone… especially given that no Black actors won last night and two Black actresses were notably snubbed for nominations AND Angela Bassett lost. It felt like the Academy’s lesson was “snub the f–k out of Black entertainers, make them the butt of the joke.”

Kimmel’s “bits” just kept falling flat, usually because he decided to kill time and do uncomfortable patter right after some artist of color was cut off from the mic as they tearfully tried to thank their moms. This bit with Malala Yousafzai was bad, all of this stuff in the audience was terrible.

He also brought out the donkey, Jenny, from Banshees. Do we need to have live animals at the Oscars?

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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72 Responses to “How did Jimmy Kimmel do as host of the 2023 Oscars: terrible or…?”

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  1. Jiminssi says:

    The worst was this light BEIGE carpet. You can see dirt on every single pic..

    • SarahLee says:

      Why did they do that? It was bizarre. Red carpet is iconic. Beige is just dirty carpet.

  2. Normades says:

    They should have not mentioned it, certainly not joked about it, and moved on. The winners made it the feel good redemption Oscars, Kimmel did not.
    They honestly need to start thinking out of the box to pull in a younger audience or at least have a better show. The Tony’s had Randy Rainbow do their preshow presentation and that was an inspired choice.

    • Noo says:

      Also what a cop out not to have Halyna Hutchins recognized for the In Memoriam. They had the note at the end saying something about recognizing titans of the industry but it felt so cowardly not to recognize Halyna and the workplace accident.

      • Gail says:

        Halyna died in October of 2021. She was probably recognized last year when you couldn’t see all the In Memoriam and everyone was still buzzing about the slap.

      • Noo says:

        Ty @gail for the time correction. I haven’t gotten my sense of time back from covid yet. Not that it was good to start!

      • Christine says:

        Noo, I have the same problem. My sense of time has been obliterated, by Covid.

      • The Recluse says:

        The Oscars should just have the brilliant folks at Turner Classic Movies do their In Memorium reels. They do great ones every year and have even re-edited to fit in last minute losses the last week of December, something they had to do twice in 2016.
        At least it wasn’t a noisy mess the way it was last time.

  3. Amy Bee says:

    Considering what he did to Quinta at the Emmy’s, he’s a hypocrite.

    • Lemons says:

      That was the other Jimmy 😅 They are interchangeable.

      • Amy Bee says:

        No it was Jimmy Kimmel. The other Jimmy would never do such a thing because he wants to be liked by everybody. Jimmy Kimmel is also the guy who wore blackface for several years.

      • Lemons says:

        They really are the same person to me. I had vivid images of Fallon lying on the ground next to Quinta. My whole life feels like a lie now!

      • Christine says:


    • Mel says:

      She said that they’re friends and she was okay with what happened, she got the joke. why are you still “outraged” for someone who isn’t outraged?

      • Amy Bee says:

        Let’s get real, if she were to say she was upset about it and that he took away her moment, people like yourself would have said she can’t take a joke. Please see what’s happened when Angela Bassett showed her true emotions when her name wasn’t called last night .

  4. SussexFan says:

    OAF. Malala read him right. Academy, don’t invite this refugee from the Man Show to be MC again.

    • Lucy says:

      F*ck yes. The Man Show was when I was in college, guy friends watched it, and I’ve never forgiven or forgotten. I’ve only watched his interviews maybe twice, and I never will. He never was funny and I don’t see him developing the skill.

  5. Scout says:

    So not watching was the right choice.

    • ThatsNotOkay says:

      I feel validated. Count me among the record number of viewers lost.

    • Whyforthelove says:

      Same lol! I kept checking the winners but could not make myself watch him. Whew sounds like he was in rare form!

  6. Becks1 says:

    The bit with Malala was so awkward. so was the donkey bit. It really felt like they were trying to err on the side of caution and it was just such an awkward show.

    The comments about Will Smith were just not funny. Like if he was going to bring it up in his monologue like that at least make it an actual joke? So much of the monologue was like that though…..just not funny.

  7. Rawiya says:

    So they banned Will from their snorefest for a decade, but couldn’t keep his name out their mouths for a night?

  8. Tiff says:

    “including the titans of Black hollywood Tyler Perry, Denzel Washington and Bradley Cooper” – I legit laughed out loud before 8am the first Monday after daylight savings. Bradley Cooper, a paragon of Black excellence

  9. kirk says:

    Kimmel wasn’t horrible and he mostly avoided cheap shot jokes, even though he felt compelled to address last year’s Will Smith event. Thank goodness they didn’t feel the need to get a comic, especially someone with ax to grind against some woman like Chris Rock.

    • Whyforthelove says:

      Excellent point

    • Truthiness says:

      Kimmel made a very pointed comment about the lack of any women in the director’s race, the lack of noms for Till and the Woman King. I appreciated that at least.

    • tealily says:

      Yeah, I thought he was fairly middle-of-the road, honestly. A couple of distasteful cracks. I expect no less for him. But overall it was fine. Could have been much worse. Did people really have a problem with the miniature horse?

    • Fabiola says:

      Jimmy did a fine keeping things light and funny the best they he could. I’m sure the academy didn’t want any controversy due to last year. I was entertained. I actual thought that people actually dressed up nicely this year.

    • The Recluse says:

      His little role call of potential bodyguards in the audience was cute. Seeing Pedro Pascal making the “I see you” signal was fun.

  10. Kebbie says:

    I thought he was fine 🤷‍♀️ Overall it was a very wholesome, feel good ceremony IMO. The Naatu Naatu performance and (most of) the acting wins were the highlights for me. Also when the whole crowd sang Happy Birthday to James Martin 😭

    • The Recluse says:

      The Naatu Naatu performance was pure caffeination. I loved it and then they won, which was fab.

  11. Nanea says:

    I have no idea why he was asked back *again*.

    His attempts at being funny felt forced and fell flat, and the rest wasn’t any better.

    • Kirsten says:

      Agreed. I thought he was totally the wrong choice to host, and he honestly seemed kind of out of it most of the night.

  12. CommentingBunny says:

    I’m not a Kimmel fan so I wasn’t surprised that he was a bigger jackass than the actual jackass he brought onstage. But I did like Colin Farrell’s reaction to seeing the donkey, adorable.

    (The actual donkey, not Kimmel.)

  13. ChillinginDC says:

    He was lame. And his bits were lame.

    • Lizzie says:

      Exactly. Everything he said was just cringe and a time waster. Do they not have decent writers or does the network interfere too much?

  14. AnneL says:

    I like Kimmel well enough but I wasn’t interested in watching him host the Oscars, or in watching the show in general. I just wanted to look at Red Carpet (Or Beige Carpet) pics the next day and find out who won. It hasn’t been a good show in a while. I’m not young and even I think that.

    That said, I don’t mind that he addressed The Slap. It sounds like he didn’t do it very well, but bringing it up wasn’t a mistake in and of itself. It was kind of the elephant in the room, so why avoid it?

    • Kimmy says:

      I didn’t mind the initial mention in the opening (the joke about security). Bc you are correct….big ol elephant in the room. BUT he kept doing it!!! Just stop mentioning it.

  15. Peanut Butter says:

    Bringing up last year’s incident wasn’t funny or useful. It was very poor marketing for the Oscars brand that presumably wants to be seen as relevant and vibrant. But “joking” about that event was entirely predictable and tiresome.

  16. Kate says:

    He was fine.

  17. Bishg says:

    I usually enjoy Kimmel but I found his opening monologue embarrassingly bad. He also looked like he was phoning it in.

  18. Harla A Brazen Hussy says:

    It looked to me like Jimmy really didn’t want to be there, very low energy and just kinda phoned it in.

  19. Mel says:

    Meh, he was alright. Some of you need to pump your breaks with being outraged/ angry about EVERYTHING and dissecting everything so you can find something to be outraged about. It must be exhausting.

    • Kebbie says:

      Lol I imagine it is

    • laurie says:

      @mel. 💯

    • tealily says:

      Seriously. I think people who didn’t watch are imagining it was worse than it was.

    • BQM says:

      And he followed the part quoted with showing the defense squad—Adonis creed, Michelle yeoh, Spider-Man and Fable Man. And his trusty Guillermo and they first show del toro.

    • Melissa says:

      Thank you for adding this, I agree wholeheartedly. Yes, the bit with Malala was awkward and uncomfortable but other than that, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Please don’t scrutinize every single thing just to get upset at something.

  20. PunkPrincessPhD says:

    His line about how we could expect another fight onstage due to the 5 Irish nominees … Pure paddywhackery and feckin unnecessary in 2023.

  21. Gelya says:

    I didn’t think they needed to acknowledge the slap. It is done & over with. I know he was asked to and probably badgered even after he said yes. The Oscar’s won’t let it go.
    Will was under a lot of pressure and made one of the biggest regrets in his life. There is no need to embarrass him anymore. Chris provokes people and will continue to do so till he gets slapped again.
    I don’t like how Jimmy always brings up Matt Damon. We get it, stop already.
    I do like Jimmy’s monologues. He has give me some of the best Trump & Cruz nicknames. I didn’t find his Oscar Monologue funny at all. It wasn’t bad. It didn’t make me laugh.

  22. Feebee says:

    I like Jimmy, I enjoyed this ceremony, including most of the Jimmy bits. His audience foray was probably the worst bit. I don’t understand how a major (for them) and controversial thing happened the previous year and people didn’t think it would be mentioned.

    And I didn’t catch the memo about assault being cool now regardless of how much the victim may have deserved it.

    • Haylie says:

      It’s right there with the memo where unapologetic wife beaters, rapists and pedos get standing ovations at the Oscars to this day.

      But yeah, that one slap was the most egregious offense ever. And the people with Selective Outrage (see there, I plugged Chris Rock’’s white grievance comedy special) will never stop telling everyone so.

  23. CC says:

    I read last night that someone behind the scenes admitted that wasn’t really Jenny, just a ‘random donkey’ lookalike.
    Anyone know the truth?

  24. FHMom says:

    Honestly, I thought it was more boring than in past years. I read and watched with the sound off after a few hours.

  25. Boxy Lady says:

    The Slap was a huge incident that was discussed for literally weeks last year. There was no way that it wasn’t going to be mentioned. I mean, he also mentioned the incident from the first time he hosted, the envelope mix-up. Anyway, I thought Jimmy was fine. He definitely had some cringeworthy moments like the thing with Malala. (And then Cocaine Bear went to her, WTF?!) But he also acknowledged the movies Till and The Woman King as worthy of attention even though they weren’t nominated. All in all, I think he was balanced as a host, neither super good or super bad.

    I will admit, though, that Robert Blake joke made me cackle.

  26. Lionel says:

    I much prefer the COVID era no-host Oscars.

  27. art maven says:

    I think hosting this was a thankless job, and I’m sure that Kimmel’s remarks were along the lines of what the event producers wanted. I think bringing it up was a bit tasteless, TBH, but I’m not outraged.

    This used to be film’s big marketing night before the internet, socials and streaming. I think they should class it up and accept it’s a niche market that wants to see this.

  28. Anne Keane says:

    I usually quite like him but wasn’t impressed by the stereotypes about the Irish – also dragged out on SNL. Offensive. I don’t think a presenter would get away with suggesting that other nationalities are fighters, drunks and unintelligible. Meanwhile Ireland continues to transform into a wealthy progressive country while the US – or at least some states – devolves.

    • Gobo says:

      Ignorant bigotry. It’s disapointing, but not in the slightest bit surprising that this cringefest is the best Fallon/SNL can come up with.

    • Emily_C says:

      And Ireland was a victim of genocide by the English government for centuries. It’s really gross to then take the same stereotypes the English used to justify their genocide and repeat them as “jokes”.

  29. DeepFriedDallasite says:

    At this point, the Oscars and most awards shows should just be live streamed on YouTube. Watching a work awards show is weird to me, why don’t we also watch the REALTOR awards or the MBA awards while we’re at it. Jimmy Kimmel isn’t funny, and every year it seems like the Oscars is competing in the Struggle Olympics for quality hosts and trying to keep the awards as white as possible but not making it obvious. If they want to remain relevant they are going to have to do the actual work to remove the racist d-bags from the voting committee, and become more inclusive as to what the movie viewing audience actually watches. Not sure why the Emmy’s and SAG awards seem to be less problematic but perhaps the Academy needs to ask them how they make it work.

  30. Mee says:

    The people who wrote for Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting gigs -Golden Globe I believe, should write all the shows. Kimmel could’ve come out as an Avatar blue person and just immediately lighten the mood. Billy Crystal came out as Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lamb and that is just classic

  31. L4Frimaire says:

    The worst thing about the Oscars was that awful “ champagne “ carpet . Beige, bland, washed out everyone, and started to look dirty. Bring back the red red carpet. Also Lady Gaga laid bare was not impressed Kimmel was meh, kept harping on the slap, but the overall pacing was good. The Malala thing, agree with the main takes. Loved the best song winner from RRR. All the big winners were predictable so not surprised, but thought they were good choices.