“I think it’s illegal to pay nothing,” Kimmel, 49, said. “I’m not sure I was supposed to reveal this. But nobody told me not to. I consider this their fault.”
Other stars who’ve hosted the big show include Chris Rock (2016), Neil Patrick Harris (2015), Ellen DeGeneres (2014), Billy Crystal (1997) and Seth MacFarlane (2013).
“They asked like 14 people and they all said no and then there was me,” Kimmel joked Wednesday. “I absolutely was surprised.”
Earlier this month, the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host opened up about his new gig and its Dolby Theatre location. “The producers and the Academy went through a long list of names — and in the end, they decided that — since I am already right across the street from where they do the show — I was the closest person to host,” he said during his ABC show December 5. “I guess I have to get a tux now. Or maybe I’ll wear jean shorts?”
Kimmel previously hosted the Emmy Awards in 2012 and 2016, the ESPYS in 2007 and the American Music Awards five times.
The 89th Academy Awards will air live on ABC Sunday, February 26, 2017.
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!