Jimmy Kimmel Mocks Will Smith Slap in 2023 Oscars Opening Monologue

Kimmel hosted this year's Oscars, marking the third time he's emceed the star-studded ceremony.

Jimmy Kimmel took to the 2023 Oscars stage on Sunday, ready to bring the heat. In his third time as Oscars host, Kimmel was every bit the seasoned pro people expected, and he set the tone for the night with a funny and upbeat opening monologue.

Taking a page out of Billy Crystal's old Oscars hosting handbook, Kimmel inserted himself into a scene from Top Gun: Maverick -- ejecting from a fighter plane, only to parachute down onto the stage of the Dolby Theatre in dramatic fashion.

As for his monologue, it was gently playful, poking fun at some of the nominees but with a loving and playful tone.

"This is, I think, a great piece of Oscars trivia: 31 years ago, in 1992, Brendan Fraser and Ke Huy Quan were in a movie together -- you remember what it was? Encino Man! Two actors from Encino Man are nominated for Ocars," Kimmel said, with a laugh. "What an incredible night for the two of you, and what a very difficult night for Pauly Shore."

He also poked fun at the budget for Avatar: The Way of Water, quipping, "Disney spent $2 billion on this! Just to break even, all of Nick Cannon's kids would have to see Avatar four times!"

Kimmel made sure to rib the Academy over criticism of sexism as well, when he pointed out how Cameron wasn't actually in attendance at the show tonight.

"Some of the cynics are saying Jim Cameron isn't here because he didn't get a Best Director nomination," Kimmel said. "And while I find that very hard to believe about a man with such deep humility, he does have a point. I mean, how does the Academy not nominate the guy who directed Avatar? Who do they think he is, a woman?"

Finally, Kimmel addressed last year's infamous slap toward the end of his monologue, explaining, "We want you to have fun, feel safe, and most importantly, we want me to feel safe. So, we have strict policies in place. If anyone in this theater commits an act of violence at any point during the show, you will be awarded the Oscar for Best Actor and permitted to give a 19-minute long speech."

"But seriously, the Academy has a crisis team in place," he added. "If anything unpredictable or violent happens during the ceremony, just do what you did last year -- Nothing. Sit there, and do absolutely nothing."

Ahead of Sunday's big show, Kimmel sat down for an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, and the Oscars host revealed his plan if history were to repeat itself with another headline-grabbing slap at this year's ceremony.

"You mean, if somebody comes up on the stage and slaps me?" Kimmel questions, before joking, "Well, I size them up, and, if I'm bigger than they are, I beat the s**t out of them on television. And if it's The Rock, I run."

The question and Kimmel's response are, of course, in reference to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at last year's ceremony. Kimmel hinted that he planned to address that elephant in the room during his monologue.

"Whatever I say about it, it's going to have to be great, right? Because so much has been said and there's so much focus on it," he explains. "I obviously don't want to make the whole monologue about that, but it would be ridiculous not to mention it."

ET spoke with Kimmel in January, shortly after he was announced at this year's emcee, and the late night talk show host laughed off the suggestion that he should be concerned about getting slapped on stage.

"Nobody's gonna hit me. I mean, I'll run if somebody comes up on stage," he said with a laugh. "I'm fast, so I think I'll be OK."

The 2023 Oscars air live on Sunday, March 12 starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on ABC. In the meantime, stay tuned to ETonline.com for complete Oscars coverage. Here's where you can stream all the 2023 Oscar-nominated movies online.