Jimmy Kimmel Oscars
Jimmy Kimmel hosting the 2023 Oscars. Credit: ABC

Jimmy Kimmel is about to host the Oscars for the fourth time on Sunday. But back in the mid-1990s, he once snuck in without an invitation.

Back then, Kimmel was on KROQ’s Kevin & Bean show as “Jimmy the Sports Guy” opposite co-host Kevin Ryder, who was his party-crasher wing-man that night at the Oscars.

‘We Snuck In,’ Jimmy Kimmel Says of Mid-1990s Oscars Night

“I remember us getting there 9 o’clock in the morning in tuxedos,” Kimmel told Variety. “We figured that if we hung around long enough, it would seem like we belonged there. But then moments before the guests began to arrive, they kicked us right out.”

He and Ryder had tried to pass themselves off as guests of Oscar producer Gil Cates, which didn’t fool anyone. But that didn’t stop Kimmel and Ryder. They tried again later in the evening — and this time, they got away with it.

“The only thing I really remember from that night is we told John Travolta that we snuck in — and he went and got us some food,” the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host recalled.

Kimmel was on Kevin & Bean from 1994 to 1999, when he departed to do Comedy Central’s The Man Show sketch comedy series with Adam Carolla. But Ryder stayed on the Kevin & Bean with co-host Gene “Bean” Baxter until it ended when Baxter left in 2019, at which point the show was rebranded to Kevin in the Morning. But it was short lived.

On March 18, 2020, just one day before the state of California issued a stay-at-home order due to COVID-19, Ryder tweeted that he and several other KROQ hosts had been unceremoniously fired over the phone.

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“Hey party people! Not sure how to say this, so here it is: Yesterday, @kroq called every one of us on the morning show and told us we were fired,” Ryder tweeted at the time.

Kimmel jumped to his defense.

“Shame on you @kroq ‘management’ for caring so little about the people who gave you so much. Especially now,” Kimmel replied.

After Kimmel left Kevin & Bean and The Man Show, he began hosting his long-running ABC late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live! in 2003. Over twenty years later, he’s still hosting the show — and he’s now got three Oscars hosting gigs under his belt.

Kimmel first hosted the Oscars in 2017. He did such a good job that he was invited back to do it again in 2018. He took some time away from hosting the Academy Awards, which went without a host in 2019, 2020, and 2021. In 2022, it was hosted by a trio made up of comediennes Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer, and Regina Hall. But Kimmel was asked to returned last year to host the 2023 ceremony, and he will return again on Sunday to host the 96th awards ceremony.

He says he’s not presumptuous enough to assume he’ll be made the permanent host, telling Variety: “You assume I’ve been asked about next year, which is not a presumption I would ever make.”

The outlet also asked him about potentially tying Johnny Carson for hosting the show five times if he returns again in 2025.

“Maybe we should let Johnny have that number,” Kimmel said. “I think it was also very different back then. I think it was more of a ‘show up and do a few jokes’ type of situation. I’m not necessarily focused on the numbers part of it.”

It remains to be seen how Kimmel will top last year’s entrance to the Oscars, which saw him parachute in following a Top Gun: Maverick spoof skit in which he pretended to be flying in a fighter plane with Tom Cruise.

The Oscars will air live from the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Sunday, March 10 at 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT on ABC.

Main Image: Jimmy Kimmel hosting the 2023 Oscars. Credit: ABC