Jimmy Kimmel ‘gets rid of Will Smith jokes’ at 2023 Oscars
“It should be Chris Rock, not us,” executive producer Molly McNearney said.
Jimmy Kimmel planned to call out Will Smith even “harder” for the 2022 Oscars slap.
According to executive producer Molly McNearney, the host of the 2023 Oscars apparently made several Smith jokes during the ceremony.
“We didn’t want this year to be like last year,” McNearney said Species. “I can’t tell you how many Will Smith jokes we had that (we) then got rid of. We believe that only the best made it into the room.”
He added: “There were certainly some that had a harder time, but we didn’t think it was our place. That should be Chris Rock, not us.”
The “Jimmy Kimmel Live” EP continued, “We really liked the idea of making fun of last year’s reaction. I think we’re all still shocked at how it went down and that everyone had to sit through an acceptance speech after watching the violence.”
Kimmel’s opening monologue dealt with light-hearted riffing on Smith slapping host Chris Rock on stage last year. The late-night host and three-time Oscar-winning MC noted that he has a “crisis team” in place, but in case things go sideways, he joked: “Just do what you did last year — nothing. Sit down and do nothing. Maybe hug the attacker.”
Kimmel added that if “anyone tries anything,” he’s backed by Michael B. Jordan, Michelle Yeoh, Pedro Pascal, Andrew Garfield, Steven Spielberg and other celebrities.
McNearney revealed the details: “I went to Michelle, Michael, Pedro, Andrew, Steven Spielberg, and minutes before the show started we told them, ‘You’re going to be on camera, Jimmy’s going to reference you. security team. If only you could show him some kind of physical support or give him a punch. They were all game and very supportive.”
Garfield was asked to make a “Spider-Man” webbing, but “he chose his own, which I think was even better,” McNearney noted. Garfield’s subversive “eh?” face and slight shrug went viral.
And it wasn’t just the jokes about the infamous Oscar slap that were the jokes cut from the live ceremony: McNearney explained that “you also have to make jokes about the movies that you think the domestic audience hasn’t seen,” he quoted the additional “TÁR” and references to “Leslie” that were eventually cut.
“Fortunately, we had a ‘Top Gun’/’Avatar’ year with blockbusters,” he continued. “It’s very difficult because jokes that would work really well for people in the industry, people at home don’t know what they’re talking about. You have to try to please both audiences at the same time, which is undoubtedly a balancing act.
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