The announcement came much later in the calendar year than usual but today it became official: Jimmy Kimmel will emcee the 89th Academy Awards. The annual ceremony, broadcast on ABC, may have taken its time to confirm the announcement but Kimmel has been rumored to a top choice for quite a while. The reasoning is substantive: Kimmel is the popular host of Jimmy Kimmel Live, a late-night mainstay on ABC and he has earned acclaim in recent years while emceeing events as diverse as the Primetime Emmy Awards and the White House Correspondents Dinner.
Kimmel himself took to Twitter, cheekily stating, “This is not a prank.”
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) December 5, 2016
Kimmel actually already has Oscar bonafides under his name, having hosted the post-Oscar special Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Oscars for several years now. Kimmel’s announcement comes shortly after Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd were confirmed as producers of the upcoming ceremony.
In past years, Oscar hosts have included Chris Rock, Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres and Seth MacFarlane, all to varying degrees of critical success. The 89th Academy Awards will take place on Sunday, February 26th.