Jimmy Kimmel talks hosting Oscars for 4th time

Watch The 96th Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, begins Sunday at 7 p.m. ET 4 p.m. PT, an hour earlier than past years on ABC

BySandy Kenyon OTRC logo
Friday, March 8, 2024
Jimmy Kimmel talks returning as Oscars host
Jimmy Kimmel sits down with entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon

HOLLYWOOD, California -- Jimmy Kimmel will be hosting the Oscars for the fourth time, and ahead of the big night, he sat down with WABC-TV entertainment reporter Sandy Kenyon for what is Sandy's last interview of his celebrated 47 year career.

Kimmel, 56, told Sandy that "Barbie" played a role in his decision to return as host of the Oscars this year after taking his family to see the movie while vacationing in Idaho Falls.

RELATED: Red Carpet rolled out; behind the scenes of Oscars preparations in Hollywood

"I looked at the movie and I thought, "This is a good reason to host the Oscars, should Barbie be nominated." Then it became clear that Barbie was going to be nominated and I thought, "Yeah, it's nice to have something that everybody's seen to kind of build the show around."

"Barbie" is nominated for 8 awards, including Best Picture. One of the most anticipated moments will be when star Ryan Gosling performs his surprise hit from the film, "I'm Just Ken."

Kimmel says his preparation for the 96th Academy Awards means spending many hours watching movies.

Sandy Kenyon reports.

"I watch them all. I watch about a hundred movies a year, which is a lot of movies. I didn't even realize I was watching so many movies until I started thinking about this show. I enjoy seeing the movies, but also I feel like I need to know what the show is about," he explained.

Only Bob Hope, Billy Crystal and Johnny Carson have taken more turns in the spotlight on Hollywood's biggest night than Jimmy Kimmel.

His wife, Molly McNearney, is one of the executive producers of the show. He says she is very busy with every aspect of the show, from the musical performances to the security protocols to make him a better host.

"She makes me funnier. She makes me think about things before I say them sometimes, which is a good thing to have. And she herself is funny. And it's great to have somebody to go back and forth with at two o'clock in the morning," Kimmel said.

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The Academy Awards showered nominations on Christopher Nolan's blockbuster biopic, "Oppenheimer," which came away with a leading 13 noms.

During the interview, Kimmel shared some backstage moments with celebrities like John Travolta, but he added that a lot of what happens before the show is not what one might expect.

"It's funny because people sometimes say, 'We'd like to come and film you and watch you prepare for the show.' And I was like, 'You realize what it is going to be. You're going to see me just typing for two hours,'" Kimmel said.

Jimmy Kimmel says 2024 Oscars show is a family affair

Kimmel hosted the Oscars in 2017, 2018, and 2023. Only Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal, and Bob Hope have hosted the awards show most than Kimmel. Being part of that history is not lost on him.

"You see these clips, these montages of the Oscars, and we all know what's in those clips. David Niven and the streaker and Sacheen Littlefeather," he explained. "And to be a part of that, it means something to me and it feels less disposable than what I do every single night."

March 10 is Oscar Sunday! Watch the 2024 Oscars live on ABC.

Red carpet coverage starts at 1 p.m. ET 10 a.m. PT with "Countdown to Oscars: On The Red Carpet Live." At 4 p.m. ET 1 p.m. PT, live coverage continues with "On The Red Carpet at the Oscars," hosted by George Pennacchio with Roshumba Williams, Leslie Lopez and Rachel Brown.

Watch all the action on the red carpet live on ABC, streaming live on OnTheRedCarpet.com and on the On the Red Carpet Facebook and YouTube pages.

The 96th Oscars, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, begins at 7 p.m. ET 4 p.m. PT, an hour earlier than past years.

The Oscars are followed by an all-new episode of "Abbott Elementary."