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Jimmy Kimmel Reveals He Didn't Think He'd 'Ever' Return as Oscars Host — and How “Barbie” Made Him Reconsider

The late-night host revealed in an interview with the 'Los Angeles Times' what made him decide to return as host for the upcoming 2024 ceremony

<p>Eddy Chen/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty </p> Jimmy Kimmel hosts the 89th Academy Awards on Feb. 26, 2017

Eddy Chen/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Jimmy Kimmel hosts the 89th Academy Awards on Feb. 26, 2017

Jimmy Kimmel's upcoming Oscars gig wasn't initially on his 2024 bingo card.

“I did not think I would ever do it again,” Kimmel, 56, told the Los Angeles Times of hosting the 96th ceremony next month, marking his fourth total time as emcee and second consecutive year.

"I did two of them, and they went well — something crazy happened at one of them with a story I’ll have for the rest of my life," reflected the late-night personality, who first hosted the Academy Awards in 2017 when La La Land was mistakenly announced as the winner of Best Picture over Moonlight. He returned to host in 2018, took a five-year hiatus, and then returned to lead the show in 2023.

"I know how much work goes into [the Oscars], so I thought, ‘Yeah, I don’t necessarily want to do this ever again,' " Kimmel added of the job.

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<p>Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty</p> Jimmy Kimmel in Los Angeles on Jan. 29, 2024

Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty

Jimmy Kimmel in Los Angeles on Jan. 29, 2024

Related: Celebrities Who Have Hosted the Oscars the Most Times

Kimmel said Top Gun: Maverick changed his mind about hosting in 2023, explaining, "I knew there was a movie that people had seen, and it just makes the job easier."

This year, another film gave him a similar feeling. "I am sitting in a movie theater watching Barbie and thinking, ‘Well, maybe I’ll do this again, because at least I have a point of reference with everyone,' " he said of the Greta Gerwig-directed hit adventure comedy, which is up for eight awards.

“I made a joke about Moonlight that made it clear to me that the vast majority of the room had not seen the movie, even though it won Best Picture," Kimmel recalled of a lesson he learned during his first year hosting.

The Academy announced Kimmel's return as host in November 2023. He joked in a release at the time, “I always dreamed of hosting the Oscars exactly four times."

Kevin Winter/Getty Jimmy Kimmel hosts the 95th Oscars on March 12, 2023, in Hollywood, California
Kevin Winter/Getty Jimmy Kimmel hosts the 95th Oscars on March 12, 2023, in Hollywood, California

Related: Everything to Know About the 2024 Oscars

For the 2024 ceremony, Kimmel will also be joined by his wife and Jimmy Kimmel Live! co-head writer, Molly McNearney, who earned an Emmy nomination for her work as a writer and executive producer of the 2023 event. She returns as an executive producer for this year's broadcast.

“We are thrilled about Jimmy returning to host and Molly returning as executive producer for the Oscars. They share our love of movies and our commitment to producing a dynamic and entertaining show for our global audience,” said Academy CEO Bill Kramer and President Janet Yang.

Kramer and Yang continued in their statement, “We are deeply grateful to Jimmy, Molly and their teams for their incredible creativity and partnership and for going on this ride with us again.”

The 96th Academy Awards will be held Sunday, March 10, inside the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles, and will air live on ABC at 7 p.m. ET.

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