Right about now, Jimmy Kimmel and his team are probably hard at work preparing his Oscars opening monologue. It’s a major challenge for them, as they may not be terribly familiar with the nominated films. Lucky for them, we derbyites are. And more importantly, we want to help make the 90th Academy Awards the best show of the century.
So Mr. Kimmel and company, here are 25 jokes custom-made for this year’s telecast. All you have to do is read and rehearse. The audience will take care of the rest. Remember, we give you full permission to use any and all of these zingers. And if you’re too proud to take someone else’s material, just say that you were handed the wrong monologue. Trust us, no apology will be necessary.
1. Good evening and welcome to the Academy Awards. Or as the producers of “La La Land” call it – “The Darkest Hour.”
2. I’m your master of ceremonies. “I, Jimmy.” Or as some people call me – “The Greatest Showman.” I was invited back to host, because things went oh-so smoothly last year.
3. I still have nightmares about that moment. All those celebrities. The faces filled with shock. Everyone asking, “What the hell just happened?” I never thought that I would experience that again. Then I saw the film, “Mother!”
4. Congratulations again to “Moonlight,” the 2016 Oscar winner for Best Picture. “Moonlight” will always be remembered for two happy endings that no one saw coming.
5. And apologies again to “La La Land” for the big mix-up. It might be the most tragic conclusion to a musical since “West Side Story.”
6. Rest assured, the accountant responsible for the envelope fiasco has been reassigned. To the only jobs that you can give a Matt Damon lookalike and be sure that the academy will forget about him. “Suburbicon” and “Downsizing.”
7. Tonight we celebrate the best work of 2017, a year filled with exceptional movies. Just ask Michael Stuhlbarg. He appeared in all of them.
8. “The Shape of Water” is up for 13 Academy Awards. Best Actress nominee Sally Hawkins plays a lonely, mute woman who finds love – with an Amazonian sea creature. The magic of online dating. Sally – you probably never that PlentyOfFish.Com would be quite so literal.
9. Also from “The Shape of Water” is Best Supporting Actress nominee Octavia Spencer. She’s already an Academy Award winner, for her performance in “The Help.” It’s nice to have you back, Octavia. Even though thanks to you, I still can’t bring myself to eat chocolate pie.
10. Stop laughing, Timothée Chalamet. After seeing “Call Me by Your Name,” I won’t be enjoying peaches and cream anytime soon, either.
11. Another of this year’s Best picture nominees is “Dunkirk.” About the evacuation of British soldiers at battle during World War II. Who would have thought? A Brexit that most of Europe was actually happy to see.
12. And speaking of British films, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” is nominated for seven Academy Awards. We won’t be showing any clips tonight – at the request of the FCC. Best Actress nominee Frances McDormand curses so much that they almost named it “Three Billboards Outside F-ing Missouri.” The last time Frances used the f-word this much in an Oscar contender, it was “Fargo.”
13. Daniel Day-Lewis is going for a record fourth Best Actor Oscar. He says that “Phantom Thread” will be his final film. I’m not sure if he’s pulling my leg, or trying to pull another “My Left Foot.”
14. If Daniel wants to win, he’s going to have to beat the man sitting right there – Gary Oldman. At least, I think that’s Gary Oldman. He was completely unrecognizable as British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in “The Darkest Hour.” A lot of people don’t know this, but he was also the first choice to play Margaret Thatcher in “The Iron Lady.”
15. Speaking of “The Iron Lady,” there she is – the golden lady. Ladies and gentlemen, three-time Academy Award winner Meryl Streep. For her performance in “The Post,” she’s been nominated for an unprecedented 21st time. You know what that means? Her nominations can finally go to the bar without her.
16. “Lady Bird” is up for Best Picture of the year. A high school student decides to drop her name and start going by “Lady Bird.” Maybe she’s trying to prove her independence. Or maybe she’s just tired of everyone butchering “Saiorse.”
17. The lady behind “Lady Bird” is the great Greta Gerwig. In 90 years, she’s only the fifth woman ever nominated for the Best Director Oscar. She’s also the first one to come from Sacramento. I think I speak for everyone when I ask, what took so long?
18. Margot Robbie celebrates her first Oscar nomination, for her portrayal of the notorious figure skater in “I, Tonya.” In the film, we see that she wants to be judged solely on her talent. Not her looks, her fashion or her popularity. It’s a good thing Tonya Harding never tried to win an Academy Award. Remember what happened to Nancy Kerrigan? The only time we want screams of pain like that at the Oscars is when someone loses at the Oscars.
19. The legendary Christopher Plummer, star of “The Sound of Music,” is here tonight. Nominated for Best Supporting Actor in “All the Money in the Word.” He’s a billionaire who refuses to pay for the safe return of his kidnapped grandson. You can’t really blame him. If Christopher Plummer started paying ransoms, every one of the Von Trapp children would suddenly be a target. Now there’s a version of “So Long, Farewell” that nobody wants to hear.
20. Another Best Supporting Actor nominee is Willem Dafoe. In “The Florida Project,” he manages a hotel filled with juvenile delinquents, prostitutes and assorted social misfits. And he thought he had it bad in “Platoon.”
21. Last year’s Best Actress Emma Stone is back as a presenter. She followed up “La La Land’ with a live action version of “Beauty and the Beast.” To avoid confusion, it was released under the title, “Battle of the Sexes.”
22. Reigning Best Actor Casey Affleck is absent this evening, by his own choice. You should have seen his reaction when the Academy asked him to return. It was like watching the police station scene in “Manchester by the Sea.”
23. A reminder to all of the nominees…winners get only 45 seconds to speak. Except for Allison Janney, who gets a full minute. The extra 15 seconds are for her. The first 45 are strictly for the parakeet.
24. It’s time to get the show started. I know that there are some extremely nervous people here, as tonight could make or break their careers. But enough about the accountants.
25. We’ll actually begin with the announcement of the final award. Please welcome back Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. Don’t worry, they’re fully prepared this time. If they open the envelope and it says “Get Out,” they know to immediately check with the accountants – this might be another mistake.
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on March 4. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our movie forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.