Jimmy Kimmel Leaves Oscars Audience Stunned as He Makes Robert Blake Joke Days After His Death

Jimmy Kimmel hosted the 95th Academy Awards on Sunday night, and was dishing out joke after joke as he did so.

The late-night host was no stranger to a controversial joke as he presented the Oscars, starting with Will Smith quips in his opening monologue, and later making light of the recent death of actor Robert Blake.

He told everyone to phone in their votes to get Robert Blake included in the Oscars’ In Memoriam section that honors those who have died in the past year.

“Everybody please get out your phones, even at home, it’s time to vote,” Kimmel told the audience.

“If you think Robert Blake should be part of the In Memoriam montage, text ‘GIMME-A-Blake’ to the number on your screen, or to any number,” he added, in reference to the television and film actor, who died on Thursday.

Credit: Youtube – Movieclips (Robert Blake in In Cold Blood)

“Text that to your mother if you like. Message and data rates may apply,” the host added.

Blake, died age 89, and was the star of the 1970s TV show Baretta, and also starred in the 1967 Oscar-nominated film In Cold Blood.

His niece Noreen Austin confirmed the news of his death on Thursday, in. statement that confirmed the actor died from heart disease. She told PEOPLE that he was surrounded by family at home in Los Angeles.

The joke was met with mixed reactions from viewers, with some not seeing the funny side.

”Cringed, really cringed with the Robert Blake joke…..it was just tasteless and disrespectful, no matter what you think of this guy,” wrote one.

”Yeah, that wasn’t funny at all. It was in very poor taste,” said another.

A third chimed in with ”Bad joke! Wrong time and so sad!”

It wasn’t the only controversial joke Kimmel made throughout the night, not forgetting his swipe at Will Smith and Chris Rock’s infamous slap incident from the 2022 Oscars.

“Five Irish actors are nominated tonight, which means the chances of a fight just went way up,” Kimmel joked.

“We want you to have fun, we want you to be safe and we want me to be safe.”

“If any person in this theatre commits an act of violence, you will be awarded best actor and be allowed to give a 19-minute speech.” 

You can see the full list of nominees and winners here.

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