Oscars Host Jimmy Kimmel Admits the Network Was Scared to Have a Naked John Cena on Stage

Naked John Cena hiding behind the stage with Jimmy Kimmel
Photo Credit- ABC
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At the 45th Academy Awards, photographer Robert Opel ran across the stage naked flashing a peace sign as David Niven was introducing Elizabeth Taylor. As a 50-year tribute, the Oscars decided to have John Cena in the nude presenting Best Costume Design. However, Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel admitted ABC initially feared having the naked wrestler/actor on stage for the ceremony.

Hilarious banter was between Jimmy Kimmel and John Cena in the Best Costume segment at the 96th Academy Awards. Kimmel told the audience they should bring back the 1974 streaker incident by having Cena go up naked to present. The Ricky Stanicky actor hid behind the stage humorously telling the Oscars host he had changed his mind about streaking. Then, a disgruntled Kimmel gives him the envelope and tells him to just present. Cena walks onstage wearing nothing but the Best Costume Design envelope hiding his crotch.

On Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the late-night host explained a lot went into making sure this Oscars joke would happen.

“There were meetings and side meetings, there were emails and texts and phone calls. There were people were sweating; somebody was crying,” joked Kimmel. “Then once they realized we weren’t gonna take no for an answer, there were intense discussions about the size of the envelope and whether we needed to Velcro it to John’s body, [whether] we had to fill his crack and [have] socks. Various testicalia was discussed.”

Originally, the network wanted a bigger envelope. By the end of the night, the Oscars segment showed no private parts. A quick cut gave Cena time to change into a curtain-like toga to present the award.

“Very rarely does an idea literally push the envelope, and this one did,” said Kimmel.

What Special Measures Made the John Cena Segment Appropriate?

John Cena may have had only an envelope hiding his personal area, but it doesn’t mean he was truly naked behind the envelope. According to Variety, Walt Disney Television executive VP Rob Mills spoke about what they had to do with the Blockers actor to get away with the segment.

“A bulge cannot be showing, and you can’t show crack,” said Mills. “It was also, ’What happens if he drops that card?’ So, we made sure that, for all intents and purposes, he looked like a Ken doll up front. His crack was covered in the back and then the envelope was Velcro-ed on there so it wouldn’t fall. But beyond that, he was naked.”

So, it looks like ABC found a way to make John Cena naked on stage appropriate for mainstream live TV. One has to give the Trainwreck actor a lot of credit for putting himself out there in his almost-birthday suit. You can watch the hilarious Oscars segment below:

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