Jimmy Kimmel Shares His Version Of That Crazy Oscar Ending

“Then I remember, oh, I’m the host”

Two days later and people still can’t stop talking about what exactly happened at the end of Sunday’s 89th Academy Awards ceremony. That includes Jimmy Kimmel, who, as host of the show, had a literal front row seat to the chaos and gave a play-by-play of what happened when he returned to his own talk show on Monday night. According to Kimmel, he was sitting in the front row next to Matt Damon as the La La Land producers ran through their speeches, thinking, like the rest of the world, that they had just won Best Picture. The plan was for Kimmel to end the show in the audience next to Damon, where he’d presumably humiliate him one last time. 

“We’re sitting there, and we notice some commotion going on,” Kimmel said. “And Matt says, ‘I think I heard the stage manager says they got the winner wrong.’” That’s when the sinking realization hit Kimmel that, as the host, he was going to have to insert himself into this ugly narrative whether he wanted to or not. Amidst all the confusion onstage, Kimmel says it was none other than Denzel Washington who helped restore some sense of order. “Now I see Denzel Washington in the front row trying to get my attention,” he said. “He’s gesturing and he’s pointing. I don’t know what he’s pointing at.” It turns out Washington was trying to let Kimmel know that Moonlight director, Barry Jenkins, was standing right behind him, ready to give his speech. As usual, it was Denzel to the rescue. Watch the video above.