What else is there to do but laugh?
The 2017 Oscars nearly ended on the wrong note, as La La Land was incorrectly given the award for Best Picture, only to have its producers concede to Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Adele Romanski, the rightful winners from Moonlight. Amidst all the chaos, presenter Warren Beatty disavowed responsibility for the error by showing viewers that he had in fact mistakenly been given the envelope for Best Actress, which went to La La Land's Emma Stone.
In the moment, host Jimmy Kimmel tried his best to do damage control. "Guys, this is very unfortunate what happened," he said. "Personally, I blame Steve Harvey for this." Harvey, of course, initially crowned the wrong contestant at the Miss Universe pageant in December 2015.
When Kimmel returned backstage after the Best Picture mix-up, per The Los Angeles Times, Oscar producer Michael De Luca told him, "Thanks for covering, man." Kimmel, who'd won over the audience hours earlier with his sharp jokes and sweet treats, replied, "Yeah, but no one is going to remember that now. I don't know what happened. We will analyze every bit of it."
Kimmel made light of the situation when Kelly Ripa interviewed him for Monday's episode of Live! With Kelly. "It's funny, because again, we just walked offstage. We don't know tomorrow morning what the world will be saying about this," he said. "Think about it: Steve Harvey read the wrong name at the Miss Nevada pageant or something like that and everybody went nuts."
"You're fine," Ripa assured Kimmel. "You weren't even involved."
"I don't know. I would be suspect No. 1," the notorious prankster told Ripa. "Can I tell you something? I did do it. I thought it'd be funny." In all seriousness, Kimmel didn't want to perpetuate any rumors. "I didn't do it. If I had done this, it would have been quicker," he explained. "I wouldn't have let [La La Land's producers] accept: 'Whoa! I'll take this from you.'"
"For all we know, it's still happening out there," he joked. "They got the second one wrong."
Kimmel was similarly jocular when he appeared on ABC's after-show Sunday night. "Warren Beatty has had so much sex he can't think about it right. This is a guy who probably never had to sign anything," the 89th Academy Awards host teased. "He just has people do that for him."
But how did such a monumental mistake even happen? "I don't know the whole story. There are a couple things I do know, though. The envelope Warren Beatty was holding said Best Actress. That I do know. He was confused, because the card—which he showed to be me, by the way—said, 'Emma Stone, La La Land.' We thought he was being coy and cute and milking it, but in reality he was as perplexed as anybody," the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host said. "You do a talk show every night. You thrive on these moments. This is exactly what you want."