Oscars 2023: Jimmy Kimmel Skewers an Absent Tom Cruise and James Cameron in Monologue — Grade It!

Some of Jimmy Kimmel‘s jokes at the opening of the 95th Academy Awards involved two men who weren’t even in the theater.

After noting that Avatar: The Way of Water director James Cameron — who wasn’t nominated for his blockbuster sequel — wasn’t in attendance, Kimmel quipped to the Oscars audience: “How does the Academy not nominate the guy who directed Avatar? What do they think he is? A woman?” He also joked that “You know a show is too long when even James Cameron” — whose movies clock in at two-plus hours — “can’t sit through it.”

The crowd gathered at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood also heard Kimmel poke fun at Top Gun: Maverick star Tom Cruise, who also wasn’t there despite his movie’s nomination for Best Picture. The Late Night With Jimmy Kimmel! host commented on Cruise, who is a Scientologist, and his Top Gun shirtless scene: “L. Ron Hubba-hubba, you know what I’m saying?” He then pointed out that Cameron and Cruise, who’d both advocated for audiences to return to cinemas in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, were not there to celebrate the industry’s biggest night.

“The two guys who insisted we go to the theater didn’t come to the theater!” he said.

Kimmel also addressed last year’s most controversial Oscars moment: when Best Actor nominee (and eventual winner) Will Smith stepped on stage and slapped Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her baldness. (Read more about that joke, and its reception, here.)

The evening marked the third time that Kimmel served as Oscars host, following his stints in 2017 and 2018.

Video of the monologue will be added to this post as soon as it’s available. Until then, grade Kimmel’s opening via the poll below, then hit the comments with your thoughts!

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