Jimmy Kimmel studied “martial arts” to prepare for hosting Oscars 2023

Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel has said he’s been studying “martial arts” ahead of the 2023 ceremony tonight (March 12).

During the 2022 ceremony, Will Smith stormed the stage and hit host Chris Rock, after the comedian made a comment about Jada Pinkett-Smith, who was also in attendance.

Kimmel, who previously hosted the event in 2017 and 2018, is set to oversee events at the 95th Academy Awards. When it was announced, producers said that Kimmel would be “ready for anything”.

Speaking to USA Today, the comedian revealed: “I have been studying the martial arts since they asked me to host the show, so I think that’s what they’re referring to.”

“The truth of the matter is I am not ready for anything,” he added. “I’m ready for some things, but anything that involves violence or me having to run, I’m very not ready. They had some kind of crisis management meeting where I guess they dream up scenarios that we might face, but no one has filled me in on any of that. So if there is a crisis, I’ll be the only one left in the dark.”

He continued: “Not only am I not a member of the team, my welfare doesn’t seem to be of particular concern. I don’t know what they’re worried about, but hopefully I won’t get slapped.”

Will Smith Chris Rock
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars 2022. Credit: Getty Images

Smith resigned from the Academy following a number of apologies directed towards Rock and the organisers. He was later banned from attending all Academy events for 10 years.

However, Kimmel revealed that he thinks Smith can make a comeback. “People have to give him time or give themselves time and kind of get over it. But I do think, yes, he will come back. I believe that strongly.”

Earlier this week Oscars 2023 executive producer said that the ceremony would “acknowledge” the slap and then “move on.”

“We don’t want to make this year about last year,” she added. “It’s certainly something we can and will address in a comedic fashion.”

It’s also been reported that Smith has “tried unsuccessfully” to make amends with Chris Rock while the comedian addressed the incident at length for the first time during a live Netflix special.

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