When I made my predictions for Oscar host several months ago, I left one name off of my list of Ten Potential Oscar Hosts-Jimmy Kimmel. I noted in my Emmys wrap up that he was a terrific host, and is a great ratings grabber, but ABC would never want to give up their Post-Oscars host. Well, apparently when you wait until the last minute, you have to settle for what you’ve got and hope it works out. And that may be the case, as it has been confirmed that Kimmel will indeed be the host of the 89th Academy Awards.
Jimmy Kimmel has risen in popularity over the years as the true heir to Letterman’s legacy. While people like Fallon have stuck to the genial nature of, say, Carson or Leno (gag), and Colbert and Meyers have been trying out a more sardonic and intelligent style of variety show, Kimmel is the rule-breaker, the fool, the one that the intelligent slacker can appreciate. From his low-bar humor in “Tell Your Kids You Ate Your Halloween Candy” to the more intellectual (yet still brilliantly stupid) “Baby Bachelorette” and everything in between (everything involving Matt Damon), Kimmel is one of the funnier men in the late night business. His hosting abilities have put together two fantastic Emmy ceremonies, and I’m looking forward to what he’ll bring to the Dolby Theater. While we wait, let’s look at his best moment: going after Jay Leno for the Conan O’Brien debacle on Jay’s own show. Nobody can say Kimmel doesn’t go for it.