Oscar Night remains special for Jimmy Kimmel, though he’s had no shortage of milestones lately.
Having just marked the 2000th episode of ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live” after his first reveal of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit-issue cover, the late-night host made headlines with his latest prank, convincing many people that a wolf was roaming through athletes’ quarters at the 2014 Winter Olympics. He also announced, on Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show, that he and wife Molly McNearney are expecting their first child together.
Still, Kimmel admits a particular excitement goes with his annual show that follows the Academy Awards. Sunday’s (March 2) edition of “Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars” has “House of Cards” star — and two-time Oscar winner — Kevin Spacey as a guest, plus a slew of “appearances” including DeGeneres and other past winners such as Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Morgan Freeman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ben KIngsley, Anjelica Huston, Christoph Waltz and Martin Scorsese.
“That is a big show for us,” Kimmel confirms to Zap2it. “It takes a lot of work, and we’ve been working on something that I hesitate to say will be our best Oscar-night show yet, but it definitely has the potential to be.
“We always try to put some kind of big, ambitious comedy bit on the air that night, so we’ve been working on something. Of course, I can’t say what it is, but I think it’s pretty solid.”
Kimmel knows that if it scores, it could be talked about — and watched — long afterward: “We did the Handsome Men’s Club, and people really liked it. Then we did ‘Movie: The Movie’ and the sequel to ‘Movie: The Movie,’ and all these stars participated. It’s funny, because I see these people regularly and they always say that people mention these bits to them more than their own movies.”
At the same time, Kimmel reasons, “If you had a movie that 30 million people saw, you’d have the most successful film of all time … but a video on YouTube gets just as many eyeballs. It’s not thought of in the same way, but ultimately, people are watching it the same way.
“The great thing about the Internet,” adds Kimmel, “is that if something’s good, you’ll know it. People will pass it around and they’ll watch it. And if something isn’t good, you’ll know that, too. There’s no polling, no research, none of that. You purely get to see how many people watched your video.”
Also prepping for a week of “Jimmy Kimmel Live” shows from Texas’ South by Southwest Festival starting Monday, March 10, Kimmel recognizes a potential downside to investing so much energy and effort in his post-Oscar celebration.
“You put yourself in a bad situation, because if you have a great show, then you have to top it the next year. It’s impossible to keep topping yourself, but that’s what we try for.”