Where I imagine Jimmy Kimmel’s morning on the day of the ceremony, as he gets ready to host Oscars 2017
“So did Ricky Gervais really help you Chris?”, Jimmy Kimmel was quite nervous and he wanted to get some tips from Chris Rock.
“Well. Not really Jimmy. Why do you ask?”, Chris Rock on the other side of the phone, perhaps in Bahamas or Jamaica, but surely on a Carribbean beach sipping his colorful drink.
“I don’t have to be the one saying this to you, but as you know your ratings were down 6% from previous year’s..”.
“Chris, I know it was not you. And it had nothing to do with you. I think people feel this whole Oscar thing is rigged. There is less and less credibility around the awards. Some folks even call this the Fake Awards show..”, Jimmy trying to cheer Chris Rock up.
“Huh..Who said that?”, Chris Rock.
“That’s beside the point. Just want you to know that Cheryl is extremely proud of how you conducted yourself last year and she sends her best wishes to you. She likes you man..”, Jimmy Kimmel, now ready to move on.
“Do well Jimmy. Think you have an easier job this year. Or not. I don’t know. It’s good that a white man is hosting it this year. That’s all I can say. Good luck brother..”, Chris Rock hangs up.
“Fake Awards show? Who said that Jimmy? Who?”, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the President of AMPAS, livid with anger.
“It’s a good thing that you are not on Twitter Cheryl. Let’s just say a man whose name would be referred to many times during the awards ceremony tonight without his actual name being called out, tweeted this out last night. You know who..”, Jimmy sipping his coffee while ensuring that his bowtie assistant was focused on his task of tying the knot.
“Oh Puhleeze! Not that we didn’t expect this, but doesn’t he have a more pressing job to do like sorting out his mess?”
“I wouldn’t know that Cheryl. Ok, I have an important question”, Jimmy going through his script on his iPad.
“After Leonardo DiCaprio gives away the Oscar to Meryl Streep, I thought I could add this line, the one right here.”, Jimmy pointing at his iPad.
“..’Coz we all know what Meryl is going to say and how she is going to get a standing ovation..”, Jimmy, earnest as always.
“You presumptuous bastard!!”, Cheryl pats on Jimmy’s back with a fake fit of anger.
“Alright. Alright. I was just trying to be prepared. That’s all. You do think it’s a good line. Don’t you?”, Jimmy.
“Whatever Jimmy. You know what to do. Just don’t embarrass us that’s all”,Cheryl smiling and yet subtly giving her approval for that specific joke.
Both Jimmy and Cheryl decided to take a break. They closed Cheryl’s office door and started walking in the dark alley towards the kitchen area. The dark corridors were eerily dark even on an awards ceremony morning and this year there wasn’t even a power outage unlike last year.
Then all of a sudden, Jimmy tripped over an object which wasn’t quite visible in that darkness. He stumbled over the object, tried hard to balance himself, but failed miserably and ended up falling on that cabinet holding Jack Nicholson’s special drinks. The fall itself wasn’t too bad going by bodily injuries. Jimmy Kimmel just bruised his elbow thanks to the sharp edges of the cabinet. And the cabinet somehow survived the weight of Jimmy Kimmel and it didn’t move an inch. The small table next to it, which holds Mel Gibson’s Bible and Tom Cruise’s personal copy of Ron Hubbard’s Scientology scripture had been disturbed a bit as a result of the jolt, but nothing that couldn’t be fixed.
Jimmy suddenly felt a hand on his shoulders. Almost felt like it was trying to pull him up in a manner of helping him.
“Hey, Matt! What are you doing here?”, Jimmy puzzled to see his enemy standing right behind him.
“Jimmy, I came here to offer truce. I want to end our rivalry tonight on stage. And I then saw you and Cheryl walk towards the kitchen. I saw you take a stumble. Tried to help you man..That’s all. Hope you didn’t hurt yourself so bad that you have to withdraw from hosting tonight’s ceremony..”, Matt Damon, with a sarcastic look on his face.
Meanwhile, the flickering lights on the ceiling stablized a bit and there was better visibility on the corridor.
Jimmy looked up Matt with confusion and then he looked down to see the object he tripped over. Cheryl, who had gone ahead of Jimmy to get her coffee from the kitchen came running back after hearing all the noises in the corridor, with a cup in her hands. She too was surprised to see Matt Damon there.
Jimmy picked up the suitcase from the floor.
“This can’t be. Is this the PwC ballot case?”, Jimmy.
“What? Please don’t tell me that we have compromised ourselves..”, Cheryl, shocked in horror as she looks down.
The suitcase was wide open and the cards that hold the Oscar winners’ names were strewn all over the carpet. They hadn’t been sealed inside the envelopes yet.
“You miserable Matt! You damning Damon!
I know you did this. You did it to ruin my evening..”, Jimmy started screaming with a maddening rage.
Matt Damon wiped the smile off his face, wore his shades, and started running towards the door.
Of the many cards that lay bare on the carpet, at least 7 of them had the same text on them.
“La La Land”.