Late-Night Hosts Weigh in on Oscar Nominee Snubs, Surprises

After nominees and awards pundits reacted to the Academy Award nominations announced on Tuesday, late-night hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O'Brien also took the chance to weigh in on the surprises, snubs and shoo-ins.

This year's Academy Awards host, Kimmel, kicked off Jimmy Kimmel Live! by joking that Boo 2: A Madea Halloween had been announced as this year's 10th best picture nominee. "A lot of people didn’t think that would make it and they were wrong," he said.

Of The Shape of Water's 13 nominations — the most of any movie in 2017 — Kimmel said, "I like that movie and finally, Hollywood is recognizing a monster other than Harvey Weinstein," referring to the tsunami of sexual misconduct allegations involving the producer that has emerged since October, and joked that the fantasy film had been nominated for "Outstanding Achievement in Fish Penis Design."

Acknowledging the historic nominations announced Tuesday, including that Greta Gerwig became the fifth woman and Jordan Peele became the fifth African American to be nominated for best director, Kimmel added another record-breaking achievement. "And Kobe Bryant is now the tallest person ever nominated for animated short. He got nominated for his short film Dear Basketball, which could be the closest we get to seeing the Lakers win something this year." Bryant was the short's writer and star.

Kimmel also pointed out that the blockbuster Wonder Woman, actor Tom Hanks and director Steven Spielberg were snubbed. Spielberg, Kimmel joked, would inevitably go back to "Kinko’s Management Training Program" after the slight.

The biggest snub, though, Kimmel said, was that the picture of Trump looking at the sun during the 2017 solar eclipse was shut out from best picture.

Meanwhile The Daily Show's Trevor Noah opened his show by praising the diversity in the nominations this year. “This year’s Oscars are so diverse, they are renominating La La Land just so it can have its win taken away again,” he joked.

Noah brought out an “awards expert,” in reality Daily Show correspondent Roy Wood Jr., who praised the nominations: “People who are long overlooked are getting their due,” he said. He gave a special shout-out to Get Out’s four noms, saying, “That’s dope.”  Wood Jr. joked that the film is based on a true story of “a black neurosurgeon stuck in the Trump White House,” referring to current Trump's Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson. 

Wood Jr. said not to count out Denzel Washington though, who is also nominated for best actor for his role in Roman J. Israel, Esq. “who plays Questlove playing a lawyer.”

“He’s not playing Questlove,” Noah replied, to which Wood Jr. said, “He becomes Questlove.”

Wood Jr. also praised out Mary J. Blige and Octavia Spencer’s nominations, adding that he knew the former was getting nominated for one simple reason: “Any time a black woman isn’t wearing any makeup you know she’s getting a nomination.”

Over on TBS, O'Brien acknowledged that Meryl Streep was nominated for the 21st time for her role as Katharine Graham in The Post. "Or as that’s called in Los Angeles, 'the first sign of spring,'" he said.

Of Christopher Plummer's best actor nomination for his role in All the Money in the World, which he snagged after original J. Paul Getty actor Kevin Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct and director Ridley Scott ordered re-shoots with Plummer in the role, O'Brien said, "Afterwards, Plummer called Spacey to thank him for being a creep. That’s actually a Hallmark card. 'Thanks for being a creep.'" (In reality, Plummer said that the nomination "stunned" him; he did not mention calling Spacey.)

To honor the upcoming Academy Awards, O’Brien also hosted his own “Audiency Awards.” The late-night host playfully awarded audience members who resemble Hollywood stars, including Margot Robbie and Macklemore. O’Brien then gave awards to audience members who were most likely to “do something hammy” and win an award “for the folks back home.” After winning the golden statue, one faux audience member is then shown traveling back to his southern home where he is shot by another member of his family after failing to bring back any tacos.

Over at The Late Show, Stephen Colbert was quick to emphasize that this year’s Oscars was free of “controversies over lack of diversity,” also congratulating Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water for receiving the most nominations. “It’s about a woman who has sex with a disgusting fish monster. And I’m really impressed someone has already produced the Stormy Daniels story,” Colbert joked, alluding to Trump's reported affair with a porn star.

Colbert also mentioned how Get Out director Jordan Peele became the fifth black director to be nominated in the category. "Now Jordan Peele is now invited to a big party thrown by rich white people. I hope he’s seen Get Out,” Colbert joked. Meanwhile, though Meryl Streep received a best actress nomination for her film The Post, Colbert quipped that Streep managed to earn a second nom for “acting surprised that she was nominated for the first one.”

Hoping to find something to feel “outrage” over, Colbert explained that he found it unfair that The Lego Ninjago Movie failed to receive a nomination for best sound mixing. The late-night host argued that the film’s sound mixing team made him feel like a “misunderstood ninja toy with a heart of gold.”

On The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon congratulated the films nominated for best picture, before announcing what he considered to be the year’s “worst picture,” a photograph of the president playing tennis in active wear. “Ooh, that’s unfortunate,” Fallon joked.