Oscars: Read Jimmy Kimmel's Opening Monologue
"This broadcast is being watched live by millions of Americans and around the world in more than 225 countries that now hate us."
Jimmy Kimmel took aim at Damien Chazelle, Manchester by the Sea, Donald Trump — and, of course, his longtime nemesis Matt Damon — during his opening monologue at the 89th annual Academy Awards on Sunday night.
Read his full monologue below.
Oh good, I got a sitting ovation. Awesome. Well I've ruined the Oscars already, I don't know what to say. Welcome everybody, thanks Justin Timberlake. He was terrific and I want to say, on your behalf, I really hope the other guys from *NSYNC were watching that performance because if they were I think there's a really good chance that they're going to let you back in the band. I do. Thank you very much, Justin.
Hi, everybody. Welcome. Welcome, and most importantly, congratulations. Congratulations everyone who's nominated tonight. Thank you for letting me be a part of this. I'm excited. I've never been to the Oscars before. This is my first time here — and the way you people go through hosts, this is probably my last time here. So I'm going to enjoy this while I'm here. This broadcast is being watched live by millions of Americans and around the world in more than 225 countries that now hate us.
I think that is an amazing thing. As you know — I don't have to tell anybody — the country is divided right now. I've been getting a lot of advice. People have been telling me, "It's time to bring everyone together. You need to say something to unite us." Let's just get something straight off the top, I'm not — I can't do that. There's only one Braveheart in this room and he's not going to unite us either, OK. Mel, you look great. I think the Scientology is working, I really do. I'm not the man to unite this country, but it can be done.You know, if every person watching this show — I don't want to get too serious, but there are millions and millions of people watching right now, and if each and every one of you took a minute to reach out to one person you disagree with, someone you like, and have a positive, considerate conversation, not as liberals or conservatives, as Americans. If we would all do that we could make America great again — we really could. It starts with us.
And tonight, in the spirit of healing and bringing people together, I would like to bury the hatchet with someone I've had issues with. I would. Matt Damon. Now Matt, I've known Matt for a long time. I've known Matt so long, when I first met Matt, I was the fat one. True. And we've had problems. He's a selfish person — those of you who've worked with him know this. But Matt did something very unselfish. And I want to commend him for it. For real. Matt, as you probably know, could have starred in Manchester by the Sea. He was the producer, it's nominated for six Oscars including lead actor, and he could have taken that lead actor part for himself, but he didn't. He gave that role to Casey Affleck, his childhood friend. He handed what turned out to be an Oscar-caliber role over to his friend, and made a Chinese-ponytail movie instead. And that movie, The Great Wall, went on to lose $80 million. Smooth move, dumbass. See, it's so easy to reach out and heal. And I want to say, maybe this is not a popular thing to say, but I want to say thank you to President Trump. I mean, remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist? That's gone, thanks to him.
It has been an amazing year for movies, black people saved NASA and white people saved jazz. That's what you call progress. A little movie musical named La La Land ties the all-time Oscar record. It was directed by Damien Chazelle. Fourteen nominations. Fourteen nominations, one for every year Damien has been alive. Tonight is very important for Damien. If he wins, he'll be able to go to any college he wants, so we wish you the best.
The movie business is changing. For the first time ever, Amazon is represented at the Academy Awards. Amazon is the first streaming service nominated for best picture. Jeff Bezos is the founder and CEO , and I want to say congratulations to Jeff. And I also want you know, Jeff, if you win tonight you can expect your Oscar to arrive in two to five business days. Possibly stolen by a GrubHub delivery man.
Amazon produced Manchester by the Sea. That was a fun movie, wasn't it? You know if you search for Manchester by the Sea on Amazon, it says customers who bought for this item also purchased Zoloft.
I don't know what's going on but there are a lot of sad movies this year. Of all the nominees, the only happy ending of all of the nominees, was the one in the middle of Moonlight. You didn't watch it, did you? "Oh, we love it so much!" The incredible Denzel Washington is nominated for Fences, a movie he also directed. I don't know, you probably heard the story of how it came together. Apparently, Denzel had always wanted to work with Denzel and it just so happened that their schedules worked out. And the rest is Oscar history. Congratulations to you, my friend.
We have friends and colleagues visiting from all around the world tonight. The great actress from France, Isabelle Huppert is here with us. Isabelle, as we know is nominated for her performance in the movie Elle, and on behalf of everyone here I would like to say we didn't see Elle, but we absolutely loved it. You were amazing in that film, and I'm glad Homeland Security let you in tonight, I really am.
We are very welcoming to outsiders here in Hollywood. We don't discriminate against people based on what countries they come from — we discriminate against them based on their age and weight. Andrew Garfield lost 40 pounds. Where is Andrew? You can barely even see him he got so thin. There he is — he lost 40 pounds for his role in the movie Silence. It was an astonishing physical transformation that hasn't been attempted since every actress, in every role ever.
Viggo Mortensen, who's terrific, is nominated for best actor for his performance in the movie Captain Fantastic and it is so well deserved. Too often the Academy only recognizes movies people have seen, and I just think it's wonderful.
We are here tonight to honor great actors, but we're also here to honor actors who seem great, but actually really aren't. And of all the great actors here in Hollywood, one in particular has stood the test of time for her many uninspiring and overrated performances. From her mediocre early work in The Deer Hunter and Out of Africa, to her underwhelming performances in Kramer vs. Kramer and Sophie's Choice, Meryl Streep has phoned it in for more than 50 films over the course of her lackluster career. This is Meryl's 20th Oscar nomination, made even more amazing considering the fact that she wasn't even in a movie this year — we just wrote her name down out of habit. Meryl, stand up if you would. Everybody please join me in giving Meryl Streep a totally undeserved round of applause.
The highly overrated Meryl Streep, everyone. We're gonna have fun tonight — I hope we're gonna have fun tonight. Nice dress by the way, is that an Ivanka? This is exciting. I think it's important, this is important, I know that we've all seen it all, but it's important that we take a second to appreciate what is happening here: We're at the Oscars, the Academy Awards, you're nominated, you got to come, your families are nominated, your friends. Some of you will get to come up here on this stage tonight and give a speech that the president of the United States will tweet about in all caps during his 5 a.m. bowel movement tomorrow, and I think that's pretty darn excellent if you ask me, so let's get going. It's time for our first category tonight, supporting actor. It's what most actors' parents are still doing — supporting actors. Five men are nominated tonight, but only one will have the opportunity to be included in a spectacular clip montage like this.