Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
There's a first time for everything, and tonight, that meant Jimmy Kimmelhosting the Oscars.
Sure, the television personality is no stranger to the spotlight—or pressure, for that matter. He goes live on the small screen every night for Jimmy Kimmel Live! He has also hosted the Emmys twice, in 2012 and again this past fall. (Remember his mother's peanut butter sandwiches?)
But the Oscars are a whole different beast. There is no replacement for the Academy Awards, and the only way to truly prepare is just to do it. And call it beginner's luck or just true professionalism, but Kimmel really knocked his first time out of the park.
It all starts with the monologue, of course. These precious few moments set the tone for the entire show, and following in the footsteps of his fellow late-night hosts (and fellow James!) would be no easy task. Kimmel turned to his pal Justin Timberlake to kick things off—performed his nominated song, "Can't Stop the Feeling." JT mesmerized the crowd with his smooth moves (seriously, how does he do that?), turning the front rows of the theater into a straight-up dance party before he turned things over to Jimmy.
"Oh good, I got a sitting ovation," Kimmel said as everyone took their seats right as he graced the stage. "This is my first time, and the way you guys go through hosts, it's probably my last time."
Kimmel then alluded to what we all know, that our country is quite divided right now. He urged everyone watching to reach out to just one person they disagree with, it could start the healing process. But everyone knows what really needs healing: Jimmy and Matt Damon's friendship.
And for him, he had a message: "Tonight, in the spirit of bringing people together I would like to bury the hatchet with someone I've had disagreements with," said Kimmel. "When I first met Matt, I was the fat one. He's a selfish person, and those who have worked with him, you know that. But he did something very unselfish: He produced Manchester by the Sea, and could have played the lead actor himself but he gave it to his childhood friend and made a Chinese ponytail movie instead. And that movie, The Great Wall, went on to lose $80 million."
The friendly ribbing didn't stop there, though. He made a jab at the frontrunner, La La Land: "It has been an amazing year for movies, black people saved NASA and white people saved jazz."
He made a jab at director Damien Chazelle: "14 nominations! One for every year Damien has been alive. If he wins he'll be able to go to any college he wants."
He made a jab at the heartbreaking material in Manchester: "If you search for it on Amazon, it says 'Customers who purchased this also purchased Zoloft."
He closed out with a particularly sassy nod to what happened to Meryl Streep after the Golden Globes.
"We're also here to honor the actors who seem great but actually really arent," Kimmel joked as the camera panned to Streep. "One in particular has stood the test of time for her many uninspiring and overrated performances. From her mediocre work in Out of Africa to her underwhelming performance in Sophie's Choice, Meryl Streep has phoned it in for her entire lackluster career. This is her 20th nomination, which is amazing because she wasn't even in a movie this year—we just wrote her name down."
Jimmy then directed the crowd to rise to give her an "undeserved" standing ovation, as he joked "Nice dress, by the way, is that an Ivanka?"
And with that, Kimmel out.