Jimmy Kimmel revealed how he would handle things on Sunday as the host of the 95th Academy Awards if someone were to slap him in the face, like when actor Will Smith struck host Chris Rock during last year’s ceremony.
“You mean, if somebody comes up on the stage and slaps me?” the host asked. “Well, I size them up, and, if I’m bigger than they are, I beat the s*** out of them on television. And if it’s the Rock, I run.”
— ABC (@ABCNetwork) March 6, 2023
He also acknowledged that his opening monologue would “have to be great…because so much has been said and there’s so much focus on” last year’s controversy.
“I obviously don’t want to make the whole monologue about that, but it would be ridiculous not to mention it,” said Kimmel.
At one point, he also said he couldn’t really worry about the ratings because “it’s not something” he really has any control over.
“We’re excited that there are movies [nominated that] people have seen, so we’re hoping more people watch, but who the hell knows?” the host replied. “There’s a lot of focus put on the ratings of these award shows and it’s used as a gauge in some ways, but it has almost nothing to do with the award shows themselves and everything to do with television viewing habits in general.”
This year’s show will be the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” host’s third time emceeing the Oscars after first getting the job in 2017 and again in 2019.
“It’s so important to have a host who knows how to handle live television and a live audience,” Academy CEO Bill Kramer noted recently about Kimmel. “He’s funny, he’s respectful, his edges aren’t too sharp.”
The 95th Academy Awards take place on Sunday, March 12, at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. It will be broadcast on ABC at 8e/5p.