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The Oscars: How Much Does the Host Make?

Hosting Hollywood’s most coveted award ceremonies comes with a big paycheck, but just how much is an Oscar host's salary? Before taking the stage for the 2017 Oscars, the show's host for that year, Jimmy Kimmel, provided the public with a glimpse into the finances behind the star-studded evening.

During an appearance on KROQ’s “Kevin & Bean” morning show in December 2016, the late-night talk show host divulged listeners with his salary for headlining the Academy Awards. “I’m not sure I was supposed to reveal this, but nobody told me not to,” Kimmel spoke sardonically after dishing out that he was contracted to earn $15,000 for the evening. While it sounds like a lot of money for one night, rehearsals and preparation for the event likely factor into that sum. It’s also worth noting that the comedian’s salary for Jimmy Kimmel Live! is an estimated $15 million, 1,000 times more than the evening’s pay.


Though Kimmel stood to make $15,000 for the 2017 Oscars, he hasn’t revealed the amount offered for hosting the 2018 award show. According to The Guardian’s 2017 article breaking down the cost of the Oscars, the “union minimum” in 2017 was $15,000. In February 2013, The Hollywood Reporter performed a similar breakdown and alleged that then-host Seth MacFarlane earned higher than the SAG-AFTRA minimum of $15,000.

Four months later, The Hollywood Reporter hosted former Academy Award co-host Alec Baldwin (with Steve Martin) for an interview. Reacting to his experience and criticism thrown at Seth MacFarlane, Baldwin referred to the task of hosting as a “thankless job.” He went on to say: “They don’t pay you any money; the Oscars pay you like chicken feed. It’s all about the honor of helping to extol film achievement.”

Along with paying the host, the 2017 Oscars cost the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences $900,000 for talent, $250,000 for security, $100,000 for each show producer, $900 for each gold-plated bronze statue, and $24,700 in red carpet.