Oscars: Jimmy Kimmel planned on going harder with Will Smith slap jokes

The TV host had more jibes up his sleeve (Picture: AFP/Getty)

In comparison to last year’s Oscars ceremony, this year’s show was markedly more drama-free, after the 2022 event was overshadowed by Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on stage.

As was expected, the 2023 host Jimmy Kimmel didn’t shy away from mentioning the incident, joking that with five Irish actors nominated for accolades, ‘the odds of another fight onstage just went way up’.

He also added: ‘If any person in this theatre commits an act of violence, you will be awarded best actor and be allowed to give a 19-minute speech.’

However, the comedian originally planned on going ‘harder’ with jibes about the slap, which occurred after Rock made a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Molly McKeaney, an executive producer for Jimmy Kimmel Live, opened up on the quips that the 55-year-old concocted that ended up being cut.

‘We didn’t want to make this year all about last year,’ McNearney told Variety.

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‘I cannot tell you how many Will Smith jokes we had that then we got rid of. We think that only the best for that room made it. There were certainly some that went harder, but we didn’t think that was our place to do that. That should be Chris Rock, not us.’

In light of the slap last year, the bosses behind the Academy Awards put in new measures to ensure that there wouldn’t be an instance of similar behaviour.

Chris Rock and Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars

It’s been a year since the slap sent shockwaves around Hollywood (Picture: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Oscar winners 2023

Here are the winners for the 95th Oscar Awards:

Best motion picture of the year
Everything Everywhere All at Once

Performance by an actor in a leading role
Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All at Once

Performance by an actress in a leading role
Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All at Once

Performance by an actress in a supporting role
Jamie Lee Curtis in Everything Everywhere All at Once

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
Naatu Naatu from RRR, Music by M.M. Keeravaani; Lyric by Chandrabose

Achievement in directing
Everything Everywhere All at Once – Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert

Best animated feature film of the year
Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Achievement in cinematography
All Quiet on the Western Front

Achievement in costume design
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Best documentary feature

Best documentary short subject
The Elephant Whisperers

Achievement in film editing
Everything Everywhere All at Once

Best international feature film of the year
All Quiet on the Western Front – Germany

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
The Whale

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
All Quiet on the Western Front – Volker Bertelmann

Achievement in production design
All Quiet on the Western Front

Best animated short film
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

Best live action short film
An Irish Goodbye

Achievement in sound
Top Gun: Maverick

Achievement in visual effects
Avatar: The Way of Water

Adapted screenplay
Women Talking

Original screenplay
Everything Everywhere All at Once

This included putting together a ‘crisis committee’, as they assured that Kimmel would be ‘ready for anything’ on the night.

‘Well, I have been studying the martial arts since they asked me to host the show, so I think that’s what they’re referring to,’ he joked to USA Today.

However, he then added: ‘The truth of the matter is I am not ready for anything. I’m ready for some things, but anything that involves violence or me having to run, I’m very not ready.’

Kimmel said that he wasn’t involved in the ‘crisis management meeting’, stating: ‘So if there is a crisis, I’ll be the only one left in the dark.’

‘Not only am I not a member of the team, my welfare doesn’t seem to be of particular concern. I don’t know what they’re worried about, but hopefully I won’t get slapped,’ he said.

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