As a former Oscars host, Jimmy Kimmel roasted Sunday’s Oscars ceremony on Monday’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” joking about how seemingly impossible it is that an awards show filled with historic gains in terms of the gender and diversity of winners could draw such historically bad ratings.
“The ratings for the Oscars plummeted from 23 million last year to less than 10 million this year. How can something so woke put so many people to sleep?” the ABC late-night host, who has emceed the Oscars for his home network a few times himself, said during his monologue Monday night. “I don’t know, but for whatever reason, the awards were held at Union Station downtown, which is the closest that many of these stars have ever been to public transportation. And they tried to mix it up, they really did. This was the Oscars that finally answered the question, what happens when you don’t cut off the acceptance speeches? Turns out they go on for a very long time.”
Kimmel went on to say the length of acceptance speeches became less of a problem than the lack of acceptance speeches later in the evening, as the Academy was banking on the late Chadwick Boseman posthumously winning Best Actor for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and rearranged the show to end on that award in anticipation of the celebratory moment. However, in an upset, Anthony Hopkins won the award for his performance in “The Father,” and as he was not in attendance to give a speech, the show ended abruptly.
“There were some surprises last night, notably in the category of Best Actor,” Kimmel said. “Everybody thought that would go to the late Chadwick Boseman, they even saved the category for the end of the show, assuming it would be a big emotional moment to wrap it up. But instead of Chadwick Boseman, Anthony Hopkins won Best Actor for playing a man with dementia in ‘The Father,’ and he was so committed to his role he forgot to show up for the Oscars. He was reportedly asleep when he won, which is not a great sign for network television. When they say, ‘Hey Anthony, you might win tonight,’ and he’s like, ‘I’ll watch it on YouTube tomorrow.’
Kimmel added: “It was an historic evening. Before last night, an Oscar had never been given to a still photo of Anthony Hopkins before.”
Watch the full monologue above.