NO ONE OFF LIMITS: Kimmel burns down the house at Oscars
JIMMY Kimmel has burned down the auditorium on Hollywood's night of nights, using his opening monologue at the 89th Academy Awards to skewer pretty much everyone.
No one was off limits from Donald Trump and Meryl Streep to his arch nemesis Matt Damon.
While many anticipated his opener would be politically charged with a strong anti-Trump message, the late night host said he wasn't the right guy to unite a nation.
"Let's just get something straight: there's only one brave heart and he's not going to unite us either," he joked, as the camera zoomed on Braveheart star and one-time Hollywood outcast Mel Gibson.
"Mel, you look great, I think the Scientology is working," Kimmel joked as the crowd roared.
In a touching turn, Kimmel noted the importance of reaching out to people with differences in an effort to make amends, but the sentiment quickly turned.
"Tonight in the spirit of healing and bringing people together I would like to bury the hatchet of somebody I have had issues with. Matt Damon," Kimmel said.
"Now Matt, I have known Matt for a long time now. I have known Matt so long when I first met Matt I was the fat one, OK. True. We have had problems. He's a selfish person, those who work with him know this. But Matt did something very unselfish and I want to commend it for him.
"Matt, as you probably know, could have starred in Manchester by the Sea - he was the producer and it is nominated for six Oscars including lead actor and he could have taken that lead actor part for himself, but he didn't. He gave that role to Casey Affleck, his childhood friend. He handed over an Oscar-calibre role to his friend and made a Chinese ponytail movie instead.
"That movie The Great Wall went on to lose $80 million. Smooth move dumb-ass. It is so easy to reach out and heal."
In another effort to reach out, Kimmel then turned to President Donald Trump.
"Maybe this is not a popular thing to say, I want to say congratulations to Donald Trump," he said. "Remember last year when the Oscars seemed racist? It's gone. Thanks to him."
Next up, Meryl Streep - who famously copped flak from the president earlier this year when Trump slammed the actress as "overrated" after her speech at the Golden Globes.
"May I say from her mediocre early work in The Deer Hunter and Out of Africa and Kramer vs. Kramer, Meryl Streep has had 50 films in her lacklustre year," he joked.
"This is her 20th nomination. Maybe more amazing considering she wasn't in a movie this year. We wrote her name out of habit. Stand up and please give Meryl Streep a totally undeserved round of applause."
As Streep stood at the front of the room and Hollywood's A-listers howled, Kimmel continued: "The highly overrated Meryl Streep, everyone!"
And just when the screen icon thought it was over, Kimmel noted: "Nice dress by the way. Is that an Ivanka?"
Following a joke about French actress Isabelle Huppert, Kimmel told her: "We don't discriminate against people based on what countries they come from. We discriminate against them based on their age and weight."
He then launched into a joke that was strangely similar to one Tina Fey made when she hosted the Golden Globes about the praise male actors receive when they lose weight for a role.
"Andrew Garfield lost 40 pounds. You can barely see him because he got so thin. He lost 40 pound for his role in Silence. It was an astonishing transformation that has been attempted by every actress in every movie in any role."
Damien Chazelle, the man behind fan and critic favourite La La Land also got a gibe, with Kimmel noting the 14 nominations the film received represented "one for every year that Damien has been alive". "Tonight is very important for Damien, if he wins he will be able to go to any college he wants," Kimmel said.
Onto the nominations and Moonlight scooped up its first award of the evening, with first-time nominee Mahershala Ali winning Best Actor in a Supporting Role, beating out the likes of Dev Patel (Lion) and Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea.)
After O.J.: Made In America picked up the Best Documentary, Kimmel was in the crowd ready and waiting to make an expected OJ gag.
"What now I am not supposed to make an OJ joke?" he said.
"Stop it, I didn't know that we would be doing this in 2017 either. But we are. That is the simple fact of the matter. OJ you get an extra slice of baloney on your sandwich tonight."
The nervous crowd bristled as Kimmel walked the line.
Picking up on the hesitant laughter, Kimmel mock-narrated: "Almost midway through the broadcast, the crowd turned on Kimmel."
After giving the celebrities their medicine, it wasn't long before Kimmel followed it up with a bit of sugar.
"If you close your eyes and wish very hard ... A little bag with mints will appear from the sky raining down on you for your delight," he told the crowd as hundreds of small bags parachuted down from the ceiling.
"Don't hurt each other. Take it and enjoy. Time to find out how well those Spanx really work. You know next year we should give out the awards this way."