Jimmy Kimmel to Host the 2017 Oscar Telecast

Jimmy Kimmel launched his own late-night talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, back in 2003, and it quickly grew in popularity to become a staple of modern comedy. Beyond the usual interviews with celebrities (and several notable appearances with president Barack Obama), Kimmel has also invented his own well-known bits that have proliferated on YoutTube. Celebrities reading mean tweets about themselves. Asking famous people Three Ridiculous Questions. And, of course, the week in Unnecessary Censorship, wherein he would bleep innocuous words out of television broadcasts to make the speaker sound dirtier.

Kimmel, relaxed and affable at all times, is the ideal host for something as high-profile and as high-pressure as the Academy Awards, so it makes sense that ABC should announce today, according to The Hollywood Reporter, that he is to host the Oscars telecast early next year.

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The Oscars, despite being consistently watched by billions, are constantly struggling to remain relevant and grab a younger audience who, if we’re honest with ourselves, typically don’t seek out many of the types of films nominated for Best Picture (your average 11-year-old Avengers fan, for instance, will not be likely to seek out a film like Brooklyn. Or Room). The employment of Jimmy Kimmel may provide that one thing that Oscar’s production team always seeks: Crossover appeal. Jimmy Kimmel’s humor is universally appealing, grabbing both younger viewers and their parents. We’ll see if the numbers play out.

The 89th Academy Awards will be broadcast on ABC on February 26th, 2017.

Top Image: ABC/AMPAS

Witney Seibold is a longtime contributor to the CraveOnline Film Channel, and the co-host of The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon. He also contributes to Legion of Leia and to Blumhouse. You can follow him on “The Twitter” at @WitneySeibold, where he is slowly losing his mind.