Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel took a gentle swipe at PricewaterhouseCoopers during his opening monologue at Sunday night’s Academy Awards telecast.

He referred to the debacle during last year’s ceremony, when Best Picture presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were handed the wrong envelope by PwC’s star-struck accountants backstage and accidentally announced that “La La Land” had won Best Picture instead of the real winner “Moonlight.” PwC’s accountants had to rush onstage and interrupt the “La La Land” producers during their acceptance speech to inform them they hadn’t won after all. Kimmel gave the potential winners a word of caution Sunday night after having hosted the ceremony last year and needed to deal with the unexpected fiasco.

“This year, when you hear your name called, don’t get up right away,” he told the audience Sunday. “Give us a minute. We don't want another thing. What happened last year was unfortunate.”

He then made some jokes at PwC’s expense. “I’ve not told the story in public because I wanted to save it for tonight, but here's what happened,” said Kimmel. “This is true. Last year, about a week before the show, the producers asked me if I wanted to do some comedy with the accountants. I said, no, I don't want to do that. So, the accountants went ahead and did comedy on their own. And I have to hand it to them, it was hilarious, but it won’t happen again. This time, the chairman of PricewaterhouseCoopers said, and I quote, ‘Our singular focus will be on the show and delivering the correct envelopes,’ which does make sense. Just out of curiosity, what was your focus the other 89 years?”

Kimmel hoped for a better result at this year’s ceremony.

“I’m hopeful that things will go smoothly tonight,” he said. “We can’t ruin this one. This is a special year. This is a big one. These are the 90th Academy Awards. This is history happening right here. Our friend Oscar is 90 years old tonight, which means he’s probably at home right now watching Fox News.”

Beatty and Dunaway were back again on Sunday night for a do-over, this time marking the 51st anniversary of their co-starring turn in “Bonnie and Clyde.” They grinned as Beatty struggled to open the envelope, but there was no hesitation or backtracking as Beatty announced that Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” had won the Best Picture award.

An Oscar statue stands next to the red carpet entrance to Academy Awards.
An Oscar statue stands next to the red carpet entrance to Academy Awards. Francis Specker/Bloomberg

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