Jimmy Kimmel on 2017 Oscars Envelope Flub: ‘I Was Walking Around in a Dream’
In what might be convincing evidence Jimmy Kimmel's a glutton for punishment, the late-night host is returning to host the Oscars on March 4, a year after La La Land was mistakenly named Best Picture over actual winner Moonlight. Still, in a new interview with People, Kimmel says he's maintained a sense of humor about the bungling heard 'round the world.
Kimmel recalls the incident from start to finish in the story, and says one particular star actually helped him jump into action when the whole thing felt unreal.
“I was sitting with Matt Damon [in the audience], and when we determined that something was awry, I thought somebody’s gotta go up there and say something. I thought, ‘Oh, I’m the only one who has a microphone on, so it should probably be me,’” he says. “I strolled up onstage, looked around to see what was happening and made a couple of jokes to try to settle things down. Denzel Washington actually gave me a signal to let the guys from Moonlight speak, which made sense. Luckily Denzel was thinking, because I really wasn’t...It was like I was walking around in a dream.”
And while Kimmel's performance as host was solid, he concedes the gaffe will probably eclipse anything else as his legacy.
“I’ve seen the ‘envelope moment’ like 30 times,” he says. “It totally came out of the blue and became something I will probably be asked about for the rest of my life.”
“It’s funny. People compliment me for handling it in a calm way, but the truth is, it’s just a television show,” he adds. “It’s not like somebody had something stuck in their throat and I gave them the Heimlich maneuver. It wasn’t a heroic act by any stretch of the imagination.”
Here's What the Oscars Looked Like in 2008: