The late-night host said he “absolutely was surprised” to get the invitation to host. But Jimmy Kimmel isn’t holding back.
When discussing his upcoming first turn as Oscars host Wednesday on KROQ’s The Kevin & Bean Show, the late-night host revealed he’ll receive $15,000 to emcee film’s biggest awards shows.
Although the sum might be low considering the scale of the event, which will air air Sunday, Feb. 26, on ABC, Kimmel joked there was only one reason why he was being paid at all: “You know why? I think it’s illegal to pay nothing.”
When asked if his pay was on par with previous hosts like Chris Rock and Billy Crystal, the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host said, “That’s what they told me,” but pondered whether hosts receive a raise for return appearances as emcee. “I’m not sure I was supposed to reveal this,” he said with a laugh, “but nobody told me not to. I consider this their fault.”
Kimmel also opened up about being tapped to host the awards show for the first time. He was officially announced as host on Dec. 5, fairly late in the process in comparison with past Academy Awards. “They asked like 14 people and they all said no and then there was me,” he joked about the late invitation. “I absolutely was surprised.”
Kimmel’s upcoming turn as Oscars host comes just months after he hosted the Emmys, which also aired on ABC, in September.
In recent years, Kimmel has famously hosted an Oscars aftershow to immediately follow the ceremony, which airs every year on ABC.
When asked whether he will still be able to produce an aftershow now that he’s also hosting the actual ceremony, he was optimistic. “We’ll figure something out,” Kimmel said.