Jimmy Kimmel Mocks De Niro, Robert Downey Jr.—and Katie Britt—in Oscars Opening

Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Jimmy Kimmel has never seemed uncomfortable hosting the Oscars, but he appeared more at ease than ever Sunday night during his fourth outing as master of ceremonies for Hollywood’s biggest night.

After a partial standing ovation, Kimmel kicked things off by celebrating Barbie, calling out all of the Academy members in the audience for snubbing Greta Gerwig, and telling Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling how hot they are. But he spent the rest of his opening monologue with tougher roast jokes about this year’s nominees.

Christopher Nolan doesn’t have a smartphone,” Kimmel said of the Oppenheimer director. “He doesn’t use email and he writes his scripts on a computer with no internet connection, which is a powerful way of saying, ‘I will not allow my porn addiction to get in the way of my work.’”

Robert Downey Jr. seemed not entirely amused by the host calling his likely win for Best Supporting Actor “one of the highest points” of his career, followed by several more drug references.

Then there was Kimmel’s timely joke about Emma Stone’s character in Poor Things. “Emma played an adult woman with the brain of a child, like the lady who gave the rebuttal to the State of the Union on Thursday night,” he said, referring to Republican Katie Britt.

After noting that Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster are both nominated this year, 48 years after they were each nominated for Taxi Driver, Kimmel said, “In 1976, Jodie Foster was young enough to be Robert De Niro’s daughter. Now, she’s 20 years too old to be his girlfriend.” That one got a laugh from De Niro and a knowing nod from Foster.

By the end of his monologue, Kimmel managed to get a full standing ovation by giving props to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA members who stood strong during their respective strikes last year.

“We can be proud of the fact that this long and difficult work stoppage taught us that this very strange town of ours, at its heart, is a union town,” Kimmel said. “It’s not just a bunch of heavily Botoxed, Hailey Bieber smoothie-drinking, diabetes prescription-abusing, gluten-sensitive nepo babies with perpetually shivering chihuahuas.”

After leading a round of applause for the teamsters who work behind the scenes in Hollywood, the host said, “Thank you for standing with us. And also, we want you to know that in your upcoming negotiation, we will stand with you too!”

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