Jimmy Kimmel addresses Will Smith’s slap and does an Irish joke in the opening monologue

The American comedian, 55, opened the ceremony with footage of himself in the cockpit of a fighter jet flown by Top Gun: Maverick star Tom Cruise, with the Hollywood actor demanding that Kimmel eject before “plunging parachute” on stage.

This is what Kimmel joked about in his opening monologue:

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Will Smith punched host Chris Rock onstage at last year’s Oscars (Chris Pizzello/AP)

Will Smith’s Slap

He said: “We know this is a special night for you, we want you to have fun, we want you to feel safe and most importantly we want me to feel safe. So we have strict policies, if someone in this theater commits an act of violence at any time during the show, they will be awarded the Oscar for best actor… and they will be allowed to give a 19-minute speech.

“No, but seriously, the Academy has a crisis team, if something unpredictable or violent happens during the ceremony, just do what you did last year, nothing. Maybe even give the bully a hug.

“And if any of you guys get mad and decide you want to come here and get ‘Jiggy Wit It,’ it’s not going to be easy, (there are) some of my friends you’re going to have to talk to first.

“You have to get past heavyweight champion Adonis Creed (Michael B Jordan) before you get to me, you have to get past Michelle Yeoh before you get to me, you have to get past the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) before you do. come to me, you’re going to have to tangle with Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield), you’re going to have to face Fabelman (Steven Spielberg), and my right-hand man Guillermo, the other Guillermo not del Toro. I know it’s cute, but if you wave at me, that sweet little man will beat the Lydia Tar out of you.

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Steven Spielberg arrives at the Oscars on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

“There will be no nonsense tonight, we have no time for mischief, this is a celebration of everyone here.”


Kimmel also referenced Smith Rock’s slap at the ceremony last year, telling the audience: “It was a year for diversity and inclusion. We have nominees from all corners of Dublin. Five Irish actors are nominated tonight, which means the odds of another stage fight are up.”


Kimmel also spoke about Hollywood stars Danielle Deadwyler and Viola Davis being turned down for Oscar nominations at this year’s awards.

He said: “While we’re on the topic of diversity, I want to say especially to those of you watching at home that there are a number of great movies and performances that weren’t nominated tonight, including Till and The Woman King, who are both. Based on true stories with great performances by Danielle Deadwyler and Viola Davis, well worth your time if you haven’t seen them.”

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Host Jimmy Kimmel, center, appears onstage during a parody of the Oscars on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles (Chris Pizzello/AP)

Top Gun: Maverick

Kimmel said: “The film that saved cinema. Everybody loved Top Gun, everybody. Tom Cruise shirtless in that beach soccer scene, L Ron (Hubbard) hubba hubba. You know what I’m talking. You know Tom and James Cameron (director of Avatar) didn’t show up tonight, two guys who insisted we go to the theater, they didn’t come to the theater.

“So if you expect to see Tom Cruise, he’s not here.”

Pointing to the filmmaker Spielberg, Kimmel added: “Or maybe he’s here, maybe it’s Tom Cruise who’s there with a mission impossible mask. There’s only one way to know for sure.


Kimmel also directed a joke at best actor nominee Austin Butler, who was sitting in the crowd.

He said: “As a first-time nominee, he was as compelling as Elvis, he still is.

“You are so talented, I know Elvis would have loved your performance, in fact, according to my reddit page online, he loved it.”


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