The 89th Academy Awards were, for most of their (prolonged) runtime, a relatively predictable and ho-hum affair — until its final moments when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the wrong Best Picture winner and confusion erupted on the Dolby Theatre stage. Thrust into the eye of this sudden storm — in which La La Land was mistakenly named as winner of the night’s top prize, only to have the prize taken away and given to the actual recipient Moonlight — was Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel. A night after valiantly pitching in to bring order to this chaos, the late-night host discussed his personal experiences during one of the most memorable moments in Oscar history back on stage at his regular gig, Jimmy Kimmel Live! (watch the clip above).
Dubbing it “the weirdest TV finale since Lost,” Kimmel explained that he had moved into the audience to watch the Best Picture announcement alongside his frenemy Matt Damon. After a confused Beatty let Dunaway read the card (“In other words,” Kimmel joked, “Clyde threw Bonnie under the bus”), Kimmel looked on as the presentation “turned into one of those Maury Povich paternity test shows.”
Kimmel was actually sitting in the audience next to Matt Damon when it happened, getting ready for his last bit before ending the show. After remembering that he was the host — and thus had to do something about this brewing mess — Kimmel made his way back to the stage, where “I’m standing there like an idiot feeling bad for these guys, but also trying really hard not to laugh, to be honest.” Luckily, amidst all the commotion, Denzel Washington came to Kimmel’s rescue. From his seat, the Fences star/director repeatedly pointed to Moonlight director Barry Jenkins while yelling “Barry!”, in order to tell Kimmel to push the newly feted Oscar winner to the mic — a shrewd move that Kimmel definitely appreciated. “Thank god Denzel was there to make sense!”
Kimmel then went backstage, where he dubbed the Oscar hand-off “a very amicable custody arrangement.” And in the green room, Beatty showed Kimmel that he did, in fact, have a card that read “Emma Stone — La La Land.” As we now all know, the accountants always bring two cards for each winner — as Kimmel said, “just to make it more confusing.”
And what was the grand takeaway from this entire affair? Per Kimmel tradition, it had to do with his favorite Good Will Hunting star.
“Whatever confusion there was about who won, Matt Damon lost. He was a loser. He is a loser.”
James Corden Uses ‘La La Land’ Scene to Sing About Oscars Debacle: