Trump mocked as ‘feeble’ after confusing Jimmy Kimmel and Al Pacino in bizarre rant

Former president claimed late-night host stumbled and choked while announcing Best Picture at Oscars... which was actually presented by legendary actor

Oliver O'Connell
New York
Wednesday 17 April 2024 16:13 BST
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Jimmy Kimmel roasts Donald Trump at the 96th Annual Academy Awards

It might be fair to assume at this point that Jimmy Kimmel finds it a badge of honour to be able to get completely under Donald Trump’s skin whenever he mentions the former president.

The late-night host’s latest jab at Mr Trump ridiculed him for calling the alleged hush money payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels at the centre of his current historic criminal trial a “legal expense”.

As sure as night becomes day, the former president took to Truth Social to attack Mr Kimmel.

But, in the process of doing so, Mr Trump managed to somehow confused the late-night host with Oscars legend Al Pacino in his error-riddled diatribe.

“Stupid Jimmy Kimmel, who still hasn’t recovered from his horrendous performance and big ratings drop as Host of The Academy Awards, especially when he showed he suffered from TDS, commonly known as TRUMP DERANGEMENT SYNDROME, to the entire World by reading on air my TRUTH about how bad a job he was doing that night, right before he stumbled through announcing the biggest award of all, ‘Picture of the Year’,” he wrote on Truth Social.

He continued: “It was a CLASSIC CHOKE, one of the biggest ever in show business, and to top it off, he forgot to say the famous and mandatory line, ‘AND THE WINNER IS’. Instead he stammered around as he opened the envelope. Supposedly his wife, and even management, begged him not to do it, “DON’T READ HIS TRUTH, JIMMY, PLEASE DON’T DO THIS,” they said. He was made to look like a FOOL, which he is, and at the same time go down in Television History as the WORST HOST EVER OF THE ONCE VAUNTED ACADEMY AWARDS!”

Now, a quick Google will show that Mr Kimmel’s performance at the 96th Academy Awards generally got good reviews (though some feel it is time for a new host).

A particular highlight for many was when he read out Mr Trump’s post adding: “Isn’t it past your jail time?” (The late-night show host is now selling merchandise bearing the phrase.)

Also of note is that ratings for the Oscars climbed again this year for the third year running, after a pandemic low point in 2021. As the reviews note, the academy may have finally figured out how to run a contemporary awards show.

Most strikingly about Mr Trump’s post though — and hanging over any criticism of the Academy Awards and Mr Kimmel — is it is yet another example of a complete misstatement of fact by the former president.

Mr Kimmel didn’t announce “Picture of the Year” — known as “Best Picture” to everyone else on the planet. That role went to Al Pacino, star of The Godfather, and Oscar winner for Scent of a Woman.

Al Pacino presents the Academy Award for Best Picture in March 2024
Al Pacino presents the Academy Award for Best Picture in March 2024 (Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

Pacino, 83, did indeed announce that Oppenheimer had won Best Picture in a surprising and stilted way, but Mr Kimmel was at no point involved.

The actor explained later that his odd delivery was partly due to a request by the show’s producers to skip reading out all the nominees again.

If there are any similarities between Pacino and Kimmel is that they are both men and both stood on the same stage that night. There is however almost a thirty-year age gap between them.

The Biden-Harris campaign was quick to jump on Mr Trump’s latest apparent confusion, calling the 77-year-old “feeble and confused” over the gaffe.

The former president may be having a tiring week — perhaps because of the start of his first criminal trial or because of all the reading his legal adviser Alina Habba claims he does — but mixing up a screen legend with a late-night TV host is just the latest in a run of confusion and flubs that, as the Biden-Harris campaign shows, is nothing but more fodder for his opponents.

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