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Oscar Host Jimmy Kimmel Reveals His Secret Weapon for the Awards Show

by Raphael Chestang 4:15 PM PST, February 22, 2017
Playing Oscar Host Jimmy Kimmel Reveals His Secret Weapon for the Awards Show

Jimmy Kimmel is hosting the Oscars on Sunday, and even though he keeps telling himself it's no big deal, deep down inside he knows how much responsibility the job carries.

"I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it sometimes," Kimmel admitted on Good Morning America. "My blood pressure is through the roof."

READ: Jimmy Kimmel Says He's Going to Do 'Everything' He Can to Stop Matt Damon From Winning an Oscar This Year

Former hosts Chris Rock, Billy Crystal, Seth MacFarlane, Hugh Jackman, Steve Martin, Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, Whoopi Goldberg, Chevy Chase, David Letterman, Johnny Carson and Bob Hope have left big shoes for Kimmel to fill.

"What I would've loved is if the last 14 Oscar hosts had bombed miserably," Kimmel joked. "That's my dream -- get in a time machine and go back and ruin the Oscars for all those hosts."

It also doesn't help Kimmel that his longtime frenemy, Matt Damon, will be in the audience wishing him "horrible things," as the Oscar-winning actor told ET last week.

"I'm just sad Chris Rock isn't hosting the show, someone who's actually funny," Damon quipped. "It's a testament to the brilliance of his writing staff that he still has a job."

WATCH: Matt Damon Plans to 'Throw Stuff' at Jimmy Kimmel When He Hosts the Oscars

To Damon's credit, Kimmel also has high praise for his writing staff, especially his wife, Molly McNearney. She's the co-head writer for Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Kimmel calls her his secret weapon.

"I need her to help me write jokes," Kimmel said.

He also needs her to help decide what jokes to stay away from.

WATCH: Matt Damon Says He's the Father of Jimmy Kimmel's Baby, Takes Paternity Test to Prove It

"This is Meryl Streep's 20th nomination. I thought it would be funny to give her a pony," Kimmel said. "At first [McNearney] thought, 'I could probably hold a pony on leash for three hours,' but she came to her senses and thought that was not a great idea."

McNearney, who is pregnant with the couple's second child, will be helping with Kimmel's jokes from backstage when the 89th Academy Awards broadcast airs live Sunday at 5:30 p.m. PT/ 8:30 p.m. PT on ABC.

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