Hosting for the first time can be a completely nail-biting experience that comes with a unique set of nerves only made possible by presiding over entertainment's biggest night. Just ask Anne Hathaway or Seth MacFarlane. But when you're lucky enough to get asked back for another round, you've got your prior experience to guide you through.
The jaw-dropping moment at the end of last year's 89th Academy Awards when Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty incorrectly announced La La Land as Best Picture over Moonlight, the rightful winner, has come to be the defining moment of Kimmel's first at bat—and he knows it. The promos for this year's ceremony have capitalized on the snafu, with the tagline "What could possibly go wrong?" appearing in the key art. Expect there to be a few jokes about the mix-up in his monologue.
A lot has happened in the world since Kimmel last took the stage at the Dolby and, in that time, the comedian's become late-night TV's conscience. Between his impassioned and often tearful pleas for gun control and healthcare, he's proven that he's willing to speak out on behalf when the time's right. Expect a bit of his socially conscious barbs to find their way into the proceedings. "I'm still doing a comedy show and I need to be funny and entertain my audience, but I also think that we've matured enough ... to the point where we can accept late-night talk show hosts speaking about a serious subject," he told ABC News' Paula Faris. "And I think that it's almost necessary now."
Despite his willingness to go there on certain topics, Kimmel has admitted that he won't be joking about the #MeToo and Time's Up movements that have rocked Hollywood and the entertainment industry in the last year. "This show is not about reliving people's sexual assaults. It's an awards show for people who have been dreaming about maybe winning an Oscar for their whole lives," he told Faris. "And the last thing I want to do is ruin that for someone who is, you know, nominated for, you know, best leading actress or best supporting or best director or cinematographer, or whatever, by making it unpleasant."
While he's certainly aware of the reverence surrounding the milestone 90th ceremony, Kimmel isn't getting caught up in the pomp and circumstance of it all. "The truth is it's just a television show," he told People. "It's not that I'm not going to work as hard as I possibly can, but the next day my son Billy isn't going to care whether the show was funny or not. He just wants me to throw him up in the air because he loves it."
"The reality of it is that if the Oscars end at 9pm, within 12 hours I will be wiping poop off my son's butt," he added. "Hopefully I will have had time to change out of my tux."
When the s--t hit the fan last year, Kimmel leapt into action, cracked a few jokes ("Personally, I blame Steve Harvey for this" was a standout) and then let the team from Moonlight accept their award. And while he and the producers will certainly do everything in their power to make sure nothing of the sort happens again, he doesn't want you thinking he was a hero last year. "It's funny. People compliment me for handling it in a calm way, but the truth is, it's just a television show," he told People. "It's not like somebody had something stuck in their throat and I gave them the Heimlich maneuver. It wasn't a heroic act by any stretch of the imagination."
While he's not hoping for his second hosting experience to be marred with a disastrous mix-up as well, Kimmel knows TV enough to know that if it were, it would be pretty hysterical. "I'll be honest, it would be funny if it happened again," he told ABC News, adding, "If you think we screwed up the ending this year, wait until you see what we have planned for the 90th-anniversary show!"