Jimmy Kimmel, the late-night talk show host selected to present February’s Academy Awards ceremony has revealed his fee for doing so.
For the night, he will receive $15,000 (£12,000) – and the comparative lowness of the figure has surprised many in the industry. (Last year’s Oscars goodie bag was worth $232,000).
Speaking on Wednesday on KROQ’s The Kevin & Bean Show, Kimmel said that there was only one reason the sum wasn’t lower: “You know why? I think it’s illegal to pay nothing.”
Asked if the sum had parity with the fees picked up by previous Oscars hosts such as Chris Rock and Billy Crystal, Kimmel said: “That’s what they told me,” before wondering aloud whether this could be a reason why few hosts return for a second appearance.
Kimmel was announced as host on 5 December, later than usual, which he ascribed to his being low on the list of invitees. “They asked like 14 people and they all said no and then there was me. I absolutely was surprised.”
In previous years, Kimmel has hosted an Oscars aftershow on ABC, and earlier this year performed MC duties at the Emmys.
This year’s Oscar ceremony will be a sleeker, briefer affair than in previous years, according to its incoming producers. The lack of a permanent host to anchor proceedings has also been credited for declining ratings. Chris Rock returned to the job earlier this year, having first hosted in 2005. In 2015, Neil Patrick Harris hosted; the previous year the task fell to Ellen DeGeneres.
Although the potential positive publicity from such exposure is high, an unsuccessful turn can also damage a career. James Franco’s detached co-hosting in 2011 was seen to have dinted his credibility, while Seth MacFarlane’s song-and-dance filled 2013 show preceded a decline in his popularity.
This article was written by Catherine Shoard, for theguardian.com on Thursday 15th December 2016 12.42 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010