The comedian hosted the 89th Academy Awards, so he had a front-row seat to the “crazy” and “confusing” moment, which he admitted he found pretty amusing.
“It was a lot of fun, until the end,” he said of the show. “It was going very well, we were chugging along, and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, it turned into one of those Maury Povich paternity test shows.”
Kimmel, 49, dissected the incident for his audience, explaining how Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were presenting the award to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their movie Bonnie and Clyde.
He showed a clip of them reading the wrong results card and joked: “See what Warren did there? He was confused, so he let Faye read the winner. In other words, Clyde threw Bonnie under the bus.”
The trophy went to La La Land, when it should have been awarded to Moonlight, but the error wasn’t corrected until half of the musical rom-com’s cast and crew had given their acceptance speeches.
“It was the weirdest TV finale since Lost,” Kimmel quipped.
Kimmel was sitting next to Matt Damon in the audience when the mix-up happened, and he said Damon told him: “I think I heard the stage manager say they got the winner wrong.”
“You figure, well, you know, the host will go on stage and clear this up,” he explained to his Jimmy Kimmel Live! audience. “Then I remember, oh, I’m the host.”
Kimmel showed more footage of La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz having to cut his speech short to announce the mistake, and also of Beatty attempting to explain what had happened.
“So we have the producers of two movies on stage,” Kimmel said. “Who the hell even knows who is who from which movie? I’m standing there like an idiot, feeling bad for these guys — but also trying really hard not to laugh, to be honest.”
Once the debacle was over, Kimmel said he spent much of his evening being asked if it was a prank he had pulled.
“I was like, ‘Hey, no, I didn’t. I did not pull a prank. If I’d pulled a prank, I wouldn’t have just had the wrong winner’s name on the envelope. There would have been a Bed Bath & Beyond coupon in there.”
Kimmel pointed out that the accounting company in control of the Oscar ballots had issued an apology taking the blame.
“I spent the whole rest of the night answering questions about it,” Kimmel said. “It was quite an evening. It really was.”
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