Jimmy Kimmel reveals his pay for hosting the Oscars

Kimmel interviews US President Barack Obama for the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show in Los Angeles on Oct 24, 2016.
Kimmel interviews US President Barack Obama for the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show in Los Angeles on Oct 24, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

Jimmy Kimmel has revealed how much he will be paid for hosting the Oscars in 2017 - and it's a lot less than you might think.

The TV chat show host revealed on KROQ’s morning radio show in the US that he will receive US$15,000 (S$21,000) for his role in Hollywood's top star-studded movie awards event on Feb 26.

Not bad for one night's work for a mere mortal - but surprisingly less than many people imagined for someone of Kimmel's calibre hosting the movie industry’s biggest awards show.

Speaking on Wednesday (Dec 14) on KROQ’s The Kevin & Bean Show, comedian Kimmel said there was only one reason the sum wasn’t lower: “You know why? I think it’s illegal to pay nothing.”

“I’m not sure I was supposed to reveal this,” he joked. “But nobody told me not to. I consider this their fault.”

Asked if the sum had parity with the fees picked up by previous Oscars hosts, such as Chris Rock and Billy Crystal, Kimmel said: “That’s what they told me,” before wondering aloud whether this could be a reason why few hosts return for a second appearance.

Kimmel, 49, was announced as host on Dec 5, later than usual, which he ascribed to his being low on the list of invitees.

“They asked like 14 people and they all said no and then there was me. I absolutely was surprised," he jested.

Kimmel's upcoming turn as Oscars host comes just months after he hosted the Emmys, which also aired on ABC, in September.

Speaking on his show, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he joked: "The producers and the Academy went through a long list of names, and in the end, they decided that - since I am already right across the street from where they do the show - I was the closest person to host."

Chris Rock returned to the job for the 2016 event, having first hosted in 2005.

Ellen DeGeneres took to the stage in 2014, followed by Neil Patrick Harris the following year.

The lack of a permanent Oscars host to anchor proceedings has been credited for declining ratings.