You’d think that hosting Hollywood’s biggest night would come with a hefty paycheck, but according to 2022 Oscar cohost Wanda Sykes, that’s not exactly the case. Sykes stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! this week ahead of Sunday’s ceremony, and chatted with Jimmy Kimmel about the the relatively low-paying gig.
Sykes, who’s cohosting the ceremony with Amy Schumer and Regina Hall, told Kimmel that when she was approached for the gig, she felt she had to take it. “I was like, I gotta say yeah, right?” Sykes said. “You have to say yes.” But while she’s excited for the job, she didn’t realize how little it paid. “I realized that out of all the jobs that I have, this one is actually gonna cost me money,” Sykes quipped.
Kimmel, who hosted the ceremony himself in 2017 and 2018, went on to ask Sykes how much she was being paid to host the Oscars, which air this Sunday, March 27, on ABC. Sykes said she didn’t know, but that her check would be “scale, probably”—referring to the basic minimum rates established by the SAG-AFTRA union. Kimmel then shared that he was paid $15,000 when he hosted the Oscars, much to Sykes’s surprise. “There was one of me. You guys probably have to split all that,” Kimmel said.
“It sounds like a lot for one night, but it’s months of work leading up to it,” Kimmel continued. “You’re getting robbed.” Kimmel went on to tell Sykes to “hold out right now” because “they need hosts,” but Sykes had a different plan in mind. “Well, I’ve already decided: I’m just gonna steal an Oscar,” she said, to a round of applause.
During the interview, Sykes revealed a bit of the plan for her hosting trifecta, sharing that the three hosts will share a monologue at the top of the show, while different combinations of the three will pop up throughout the night. “Being honest, whoever gets drunk is the one that’s going to be backstage,” Sykes joked. “So if you see just Amy and Regina out, you just can go, ‘Wanda’s drunk. She’s backstage, drunk.’” Sykes added that she plans to have a drink after the first act of the ceremony. “You get the big part out of the way,” Sykes said, “and then I’m like, I’m here to have some fun. It’s not like I’m getting paid.”
“You get what you pay for,” she joked. “If you want sober Wanda, you gotta add some more zeroes and move that comma.”
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