Jimmy Kimmel Masters the Art of the Opening Monologue

Jimmy Kimmel shines with wit at the Oscars.

by Zain ul Abedin
Jimmy Kimmel Masters the Art of the Opening Monologue
© Richard Harbaugh/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images

The moment Jimmy Kimmel was revealed as the master of ceremonies for this year's Oscars, anticipation soared. With a trio of hosting stints to his credit, Kimmel has adeptly morphed the Oscars platform into his personal comedy arena, promising an evening devoid of the ennui that might recall the infamous Jo Koy moment.

Kimmel's entrance was classic: he dived straight into banter, playfully ribbing the audience. An unforgettable moment was his jest at Bradley Cooper, who attended with his mother, prompting Kimmel to tease, "How many times can one bring their mom as their date before they’re essentially dating their mom?" The humor didn't stop there; Robert Downey Jr., nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in "Oppenheimer," was next, with Kimmel jesting about Downey's almost prophetic award wins and devilish good looks in a manner only Kimmel could.

Behind the effortless humor lies a rigorous preparation process. Kimmel's dedication to mastering his Oscars monologue included immersing himself in the year's cinematic landmarks, with "Barbie" capturing his favor. This film, in Kimmel's eyes, was a perfect excuse to ascend the Oscars' stage once more.

He didn't miss the opportunity to spotlight Greta Gerwig’s notable absence in the Best Director nominations, despite "Barbie's" monumental acclaim. The audience's applause for Gerwig, Kimmel wryly noted, was ironic given their role in the voting process.

Kimmel's Meticulous Prep

Kimmel's commentary wasn't just confined to light-hearted jests. He poignantly addressed the SAG-AFTRA strike, celebrating the industry's collective bargaining achievements. In a moving gesture, he invited numerous Hollywood crew members to the stage, honoring their contributions and solidarity in upcoming negotiations, promising a deliberately extended show to ensure they received ample overtime.

In a season marred by tepid introductions, Kimmel's performance was a refreshing departure. His blend of humor, poise, and pointed commentary not only set the tone for the evening but also underscored the Oscars as a night of unity, celebration, and, thanks to Kimmel, laughter.

As the awards night unfolds, one can only hope it retains the sparkle Kimmel so effortlessly bestowed upon its inception.