The jet ski that was given away at Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony to the winner who delivered the shortest acceptance speech required contest rules to be hastily developed by ABC’s legal team.
Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel offered a few dishy insights into Sunday’s telecast during his monologue on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” The jet ski giveaway was dreamed up as a lark by Kimmel and his writing staff. He said lawyers with stopwatches were watching the action backstage, carefully tabulating the length of winners’ remarks before handing the jet ski to “Phantom Thread” costume designer Mark Bridges, who said his thank-yous in 36 seconds.
“Once we decided to do it, because it was technically a contest, the legal department had to come up with rules and guidelines for it,” Kimmel said. “Do we start the timer when the winner’s name is called — so they have to rush to the stage? Well we couldn’t do that because that would be unfair to the winners in the back and people wearing heels — and tight dresses – and you do not want to get in a legal dispute over a personal watercraft. That’s how people get killed.”
Kimmel also disclosed that his mother made cookies in the shape of an Oscar trophy and handed them out the crowd at the Dolby Theatre.
“My mother – unbeknownst to me – spent the weekend making Oscar cookies – cookies – shaped like the Oscar. And she put glitter, I don’t know if it was edible or what. Which she then packed in disposable Tupperware boxes and smuggled them into the show,” Kimmel said. “While the Oscar show is going on, my mother is in the audience passing cookies around – to various people — including Steven Spielberg. She gave Steven Spielberg a cookie. And he ate it.”
Kimmel also showed off the hot-dog cannon he had built for his bit on the Oscars where he led a group of celebrities into a screening of “A Wrinkle in Team” at the Chinese Theater complex next door. Kimmel said the contraption was purpose-built for the Oscars.