Kimmel Oscar Monologue Jokes

Jimmy Kimmel took it easy on Hollywood — mostly — in a monologue that made jokes about safe subjects like the length of the show, how good looking Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie are, and Botox. His monologue climaxed with a tribute to the safest people in Hollywood to praise — union crews — following a year of strikes by actors and writers that brought the industry to a halt for months.

Welcoming dozens of tuxedo-clad blue-collar union members — including truck drivers and crew — to the stage, he promised, “I’m gonna make sure the show goes really long tonight so you get a ton of overtime.”

He also took some self-deprecating shots at on-screen talent like himself.

“This very strange town of ours, as pretentious and superficial as it can be, at its heart is a union town. It’s not just a bunch of heavily Botoxed… smoothie drinking, diabetes prescription-abusing, gluten-sensitive nepo babies with perpetually shivering chihuahuas,” he said. “This is a coalition of strong, hardworking, mentally tough American laborers, women and men who would 100 percent sure die if we even had to touch the handle of a shovel.”

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Kimmel noted that the strikes were only as effective as they were because of union crew members who stood by actors and writers when they walked out in search of better pay and job security.

He also nodded to the strikes with a subtle welcome to all the “human actors” in attendance — given that A.I. was a sticking point in the strikes.

The Kimmel Oscar monologue did not mention the pro-Palestine demonstrations that slowed entries into Hollywood’s Dolby Theater and delayed the start of the ceremony by five minutes — expect to acknowledge that the ceremony was running behind.

Other Jimmy Kimmel Oscar Monologue Jokes

The Kimmel Oscar monologue barely dipped into politics — only Republican Alabama Sen. Katie Britt, who delivered the Republican response to President Biden’s State of the Union address on Thursday, was the butt of a political joke.

And Kimmel’s only personal jab was one about Robert Downey Jr.’s past struggles with addiction. He said that Downey’s Oscar best supporting actor nomination for Oppenheimer was the highest point of his career, adding, “Well, one of the highest points.”

Downey played along by touching his nose.

“Was that too on the nose, or was that a drug motion you made?” Kimmel asked. (Downey has been very open about his struggles with addiction, decades ago, throughout awards season.)

Kimmel Oscar Monologue Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. plays along with the Jimmy Kimmel Oscar monologue. ABC.

Kimmel also delivered a classic Hollywood age joke when he noted that both Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster, up for awards Sunday, were both nominated for Taxi Driver almost 40 years ago.

“In 1976 Jodie Foster was young enough to be Robert De Niro’s daughter. Now she’s 20 years to old to be his girlfriend,” Kimmel said, as Foster amusedly nodded.

Conscious of the poor response to Jo Koy’s Golden Globes monologue — at his lowest point, Koy blamed his writers for a failed joke — Kimmel had a very inside baseball laugh line when he got a tepid response to a joke about Jorgos Lanthimos’ name.

The joke was him wondering if Lanthimos would win an Oscar, then offering, “your guess is as good as mine.”

When it got some groans, and silence, he said he was just testing for room tone — something Hollywood sound teams do on film sets before rolling, which requires total silence.

And Kimmel goofed on the three-and-a-half-hour runtime for Killers of the Flower Moon, saying “I had my mail forwarded to the theater” during the film.

He added that the Oklahoma-set story of the Osage Nation murders was so long, “You could drive to Oklahoma and solve the murders yourself.”

The softest joke was one for perpetual nominee Steven Spielberg: “Are you nominated tonight or are you here because you have season tickets?” Kimmel asked the director.

Kimmel also opened with one of the safest possible jokes when he said the night was full of promise — “but so was Madame Web, so who knows?” Even the film’s stars, Dakota Johnson and Sydney Sweeney, have joked about the poor box office returns for the film.

Main image: The Jimmy Kimmel Oscar monologue. ABC.

Editor’s Note: Corrects typos.