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Justin Timberlake eases us into a Trump-bashing Oscars

He danced before host Jimmy Kimmel let 'em rip.
Jimmy Kimmel

Jimmy Kimmel hosted the 29th Academy Awards.

Getty Images

The 2017 Academy Awards are the biggest powder keg since the ceremony in 2003, which was held mere days after the start of the Iraq War. So it kicked off light. It started with Justin Timberlake strutting through the theater, singing his song from “Trolls.” He did more than make sure we never had to think about “Trolls” again. He helped us brace for an avalanche of (albeit welcome) anti-Trump speeches and jokes, plus the possibility that Mahershala Ali would somehow not win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. (Fifteen minutes later, he did.)

RELATED: Our Oscar predictions: Who will win, who will lose

Opening with Timberlake also meant a bit less of Jimmy Kimmel — also a generous move. Our host was quick to make a Trump yuk, referencing the audiences in other parts of the globe, including “the 225 countries that now hate us.” Once he started he couldn't stop. He rattled off POTUS’ Meryl Streep disses and asked if she was wearing Ivanka. He asked The New York Times and other news organization to leave. He did thank our president, in a way: “Remember last year when they said the Oscars were racist?”

He didn’t spend all his time on the orange one. He razzed Mel Gibson, he fake-razzed Matt Damon. We say his best joke was the one that got a delayed reaction. Speaking of the bummers in the Best Picture slot, he quipped, “The only happy ending of the nominees was the one in the middle of ‘Moonlight.’”

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Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge

 
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