Jimmy Kimmel Did NOT Hold Back At the 2023 Oscars, and the Internet Had a Lot To Say

Looks like some of Kimmel's jokes didn't land everywhere all at once.
By Madison E. Goldberg
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The late night talk show host of Jimmy Kimmel Live! took to the stage to host the Academy Awards this year, and his wry sense of humor came with him. Last year’s Oscars most talked-about moment was certainly actor Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock, who was presenting an award that night. The slap was over a joke that Rock made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her buzzed hair cut. At the time, Rock did not know about Pinkett-Smith’s alopecia diagnosis. Alopecia causes hair loss, and is why Pinkett Smith chose to shave her head.

As of this year, Smith has been banned from the Oscars for ten years over the incident. In his opening monologue and throughout the night, Kimmel couldn’t help but bring up the infamous moment. In his opening monologue, he mentioned what was on many viewers’ minds–the fact that Smith is still banned from the Academy while other alleged abusers are still granted access. Notably, actor and producer Brad Pitt (who produced Best Picture nominee Women Talking) is currently still involved in a legal battle with his ex-wife Angelina Jolie, who alleges that he abused her and one of their children. Kimmel’s snippet of dark humor was met with laughter from his audience.

Also in the monologue, Kimmel poked fun at Nicole Kidman’s infamous “heartbreak feels good in a place like this” AMC advertisement.  He closed out the joke with a compliment.

Throughout the show, clips of the Best Picture nominated films were shown. After a clip from The Banshees of Inisherin, which starred Collin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, Kimmel emerged on stage with the miniature donkey, Jenny, from the film. Jenny is a real life emotional support animal, and ironically served the same purpose in her role in Banshees. In a nod to the rural Ireland set plot of the film, Kimmel looked to Colin Farrell in the audience and told him to text him if the three of them were headed to the pub after the show.

Briefly after a commercial break, Kimmel walked into the star-studded audience and asked Oscars guests, presenters, and nominees alike humorous questions that he joked were submitted by fans. 25 year-old Nobel laureate, women’s rights and education activist, and executive producer of Stranger at the Gate Malala Yousafazi was present at this year’s ceremony. As one of the most impressive young women in the world, Kimmel asked her to clarify a pop culture moment that the internet can’t seem to forget–spitgate from the  Don’t Worry Darling press tour.

Many viewers felt that Malala seemed to not be happy about her inclusion in Kimmel’s audience interactive comedy. She responded by saying, “I only talk about peace.” Her reaction is receiving praise on Twitter.

Kimmel later joked about Fox News’ Tucker Carlson manipulating the Capitol Insurrection footage and airing it on Fox. The joke came just before the Best Film Editing category was announced.

To close out the night, Kimmel walked off stage next to a score card that counted down the “days without an Oscars incident” and flipped the count to one.

The internet had a lot to say about several moments from Kimmel’s night as host. Some felt that his opening punch line was hypocritical given his controversial career in hosting and comedy, including a skit in which he wore blackface.

On the other hand, members of the press at the event voiced support for Kimmel’s interaction with the audience. Kimmel’s team left snack packs for audience members to munch on during the lengthy awards ceremony.

Other viewers caught actor Andrew Garfield grimacing during Kimmel’s audience interactions, and the image is rapidly becoming a reaction meme across Twitter.

Despite the mixed reactions to Kimmel’s hosting style online, his approach to the event was anything but shocking. Much of his content on Jimmy Kimmel Live! centers on comedic and satirical takes on current events in politics and pop culture. Despite some of his jokes not landing with a few audience members, it is evident that Kimmel was attempting to cover everything everywhere all at once.