Jimmy Kimmel Takes Aim at Absent Tom Cruise, James Cameron and 'The Slap' in Oscars Monologue

With a very insider Oscars monologue, Jimmy Kimmel addresses "the slap," Steven Spielberg, Brendan Fraser, Ke Huy Quan, Nicole Kidman and more — but very gently.

After a fun montage not only of scenes from this year’s nominated films but lots of behind-the-scenes footage of the making of this year’s nominated films, the 95th Oscars dropped Jimmy Kimmel onto the stage … literally.

The late-night host joined “Top Gun: Maverick” for a few scenes opposite big-screen Tom Cruise in fighter jets before parachuting into the show to kick things off with a mostly mild monologue. After one joke last year triggered one nominee, it was perhaps better safe than sorry.

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Yes, Kimmel did address “the slap,” but impressively showed far more restraint than we expected, holding off on the dominant moment from last year’s show until the final moments of his monologue. Before that, he was positively tame!

His first joke was as gentle as they come, quipping that it was nice to see Nicole Kidman “has finally been released from that abandoned AMC where she’s been held captive for two full years now.” He then told her, “Thank you for encouraging people who were already at the movie theater to go to the movie theater.”

He pointed out all the night’s first-time nominees, taking particular pleasure in the fact that both Brendan Fraser and Ke Huy Quan are nominated on the same night. Not only are they front-runners for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, but they were co-stars in 1992.

“Two actors from ‘Encino Man’ are nominated for Oscars,” Kimmel said, referencing their goofy comedy. “What an incredible night this must be for the two of you, and what a very difficult night for Pauly Shore.”

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He took some time to crack a lot of jokes about Steven Spielberg and John Williams, both achieving Oscars history with their nominations. Spielberg is the first director nominated across six decades, while Williams is the oldest-ever nominee at 91.

He got a few chuckles from Spielberg and then threw in some drug humor because Seth Rogen was nearby, but it was all pretty tame. That is, until he talked about Spielberg directing the actors portraying his parents in intimate scenes. Let’s just say, everyone had a little bit of a cringe.

The comedian did pull out the barbs a little bit when talking about James Cameron and Tom Cruise. He made it a point to publicly mention rumors Cameron opted out because he wasn’t nominated for the latest “Avatar” film, asking, “How does the Academy not nominate the guy who directed ‘Avatar’? What is he, a woman?”

He poked fun at Scientology a bit, saying Cruise without his shirt on in “Top Gun” is “L. Ron Hubba-Hubba,” before commenting on both men being absent. “The two guys who insisted we go to the theater didn’t come to the theater,” he said.

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When commenting on Rihanna’s upcoming performance, Kimmel shared that her baby pooped during rehearsals just so he could ask if the audience knew the last time someone pooped backstage. He then went “Inside Baseball,” as it were, by saying, “That accountant who mixed up the envelopes.”

Yes, it’s one of Oscars’ most famous moments, but it was also six years ago and he offered no further context. For the record, “La La Land” was announced as the winner, when in truth it was “Moonlight.” It is a moment of Oscars chaos that will go down in history — kind of like last year’s big moment.

Kimmel hinted at “the slap” between Will Smith and Chris Rock earlier in the monologue when talking about the five different Irish acting nominees, joking that “the odds of another fight happening on stage went way up.”

Then, like Rock waited until the end of his latest stand-up special to go all in on the infamous incident, Kimmel took a deep dive on the subject by focusing on safety. Oscars implemented a crisis team this year, just in case anything like that were to happen again.

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“If anyone in this theater commits an act of violence at any point in the show, you will be awarded the Oscar for Best Actor and permitted to give a 19-minute-long speech,” Kimmel joked.

He went on to call out basically everyone, noting, “If anything unpredictable or violent takes place, just do what you did last year. Nothing. Sit there and do absolutely nothing.” After a beat he added, “Maybe even give the assailant a hug.”

He then warned the attendants that if anyone decides they are mad and want to rush the stage to “Get Jiggy Wit It,” they’ll have to get through a whole slew of people, like Michael B. Jordan’s Adonis Creed, Michelle Yeoh’s herself, “The Mandalorian” and even two Guillermo’s (Del Toro and Kimmel’s late-night sidekick).

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