Jimmy Kimmel kicked off his introductory monologue at Sunday night's Academy Awards with some light, good-hearted political humor, noting that the Oscars are being broadcast not just in the U.S. but also "around the world in more than 225 countries that now hate us." One of the least political late-night TV hosts, Kimmel got to President Trump eventually, but he started out with a soft target in the room. "I don't have to tell anybody, the country is divided right now," he said. "I've been getting a lot of advice, people are telling me it's time to bring everyone together, you need to say something to unite us, and let's just get something straight off the top: I'm not — I can't do that. There's only one Braveheart in this room, and he's not going to unite us, either. Mel, you look great, I think the Scientology is working."
In the spirit of bringing people together, Kimmel said he wanted to "bury the hatchet" with Matt Damon, kind of. "I've known Matt for a long time now. You know, I've known Matt so long, when I first met Matt, I was the fat one," he said, before mocking Damon for making a flop (Great Wall) and passing up the lead in the Oscar-nominated Manchester By the Sea. "Smooth move, dumbass. See, it's so easy to reach out and heal!" Then he made the first Trump joke of the night: "Maybe this is not a popular thing to say, but I want to say thank you to President Trump — I mean, remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist?"
"It has been an amazing year for movies: Black people saved NASA and white people saved jazz — that's what you call progress," Kimmel joked. And then he ribbed Hollywood: "We are very welcoming to outsiders here in Hollywood. We don't discriminate against people based on what countries they come from; we discriminate against them based on their age and weight." He ended by taking a moment to remind everyone in the theater that they were at the Oscars, many of them nominated for awards. "Some of you will be able to come up here and give a speech," he said, "that the president of the United States will tweet about in all caps during his 5 a.m. bowel movement tomorrow."