You knew it was coming. I knew it was coming. Everyone knew it was coming. The only question was: who would be the one to make the inevitable joke about The Slap during the 2023 Academy Awards?
It turns out the honors went to host Jimmy Kimmel, who made the first (and only?) reference to when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock for failing to keep his wife’s name out of his f*cking mouth at last year’s Oscars. “It was some year for diversity and inclusion. We have nominees from every corner of Dublin,” he joked, referring to, among others, The Banshees of Inisherin star Colin Farrell and Aftersun hunk Paul Mescal. “Five Irish actors are nominated tonight, which means the odds of another fight on stage just went way up.”
Later, Kimmel said that “if anyone in attendance commits an act of violence at any point during the show, you will be awarded the Oscar for Best Actor and permitted to give a 19-minute long speech.” He continued:
“If anything unpredictable or violent happens during the show, sit there and do absolutely nothing. Maybe even give the assailant a hug. And if any of you get mad at a joke and decide you want to get jiggy with it — it’s not going to be easy,” Kimmel concluded, then shouting out fighters in the audience like Michael B. Jordan’s Creed, Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man and Michelle Yeoh.
The squad. #Oscars pic.twitter.com/os0qY9eeTt
— Decider (@decider) March 13, 2023
Kimmel also covered another hot-button issue: Scientology and Tom Cruise, who he referred to as “L Ron Hubba Hubba.” Cruise, it’s worth noting, is not in attendance.
You can find the complete list of Oscar winners here.