Jimmy Kimmel took a break from introducing awards presenters at the 90th annual Academy Awards to thank movie audiences by enlisting a few Oscar nominees to hand out snacks at a nearby sneak peek of A Wrinkle in Time.
After the film editing award was given, Kimmel asked the audience at the Dolby Theatre to applaud for movie audiences everywhere, then introduced night-vision footage for a movie theater audience across Hollywood Boulevard, which was watching a sneak peek of Ava DuVernay’s movie A Wrinkle in Time. He then asked for volunteers to join him in surprising the audience with snacks.
After a commercial break, Gal Gadot, Ansel Elgort, Guillermo del Toro, Margot Robbie, Jimmy Kimmel Live!‘s Guillermo Rodriguez and others joined him in handing out hot dogs (from a hot-dog gun) and candy (including many Red Vines) to the audience.
“Do you know who we are?” Gadot asked as she and Kimmel surprised the audience.
Twitter users compared the bit to Kimmel’s maligned skit last year where he brought Hollywood tour bus riders into the Dolby Theatre. Journalists later discovered that one of the people on the bus — who was much-discussed on Twitter and a subject of jokes by Kimmel, Gary Alan Coe, aka “Gary from Chicago” — had a criminal background.
When being interviewed by Ryan Seacrest the following morning for Live With Kelly and Ryan‘s post-Oscar special, the host insisted that the stunt was not planned.
“I like at least one of the things in the show to be risky and to not know what’s going to happen. Not everybody loves that — the producers are like, ‘Maybe we should tighten this up a little bit?’ — but I love the idea that it could go horribly wrong,” said Kimmel. “Nothing was set up. All of those people were told they got free tickets to a screening of Oprah’s movie, A Wrinkle in Time, so they came and we were able to find out who was coming to the theater and make sure we weren’t going to have any security problems with people. But other than that, they had no idea what was going on.”
He then joked that it ended up being a close call: “I didn’t realize they’d get quite that excited and I didn’t realize they’d all jump out of their seats and start crowding around. I had a moment where I thought, ‘Oh maybe this is a mistake. Wonder Woman might have to start fighting people!'”
March 5, 6:20 a.m. Updated with Kimmel’s Seacrest interview.