David Letterman Calls Out Tom Cruise for Skipping Oscars on ‘Kimmel’

For the very first time on Wednesday night, Jimmy Kimmel got his childhood hero David Letterman to sit down with him in his Los Angeles theater. And just a few days after the Academy Awards, the former late-night host was apparently in the mood to gab about Hollywood.

“This was a sensational moment for the country and the network and yourself,” Letterman told the host of his third time hosting the Oscars. “You know what this makes you, dont you? You are the prince of Hollywood.” He then added, “Congratulations, because you resurrected this carcass, and the network and the Academy ought to be very grateful, nice going.”

By contrast, when Letterman hosted the award show in 1995, he joked, “It was such a bomb, the Academy thought maybe it had been terrorists.” He went on to gush over the bit he “truly enjoyed” in which Kimmel had to tell Cocaine Bear to leave Malala Yousafzai alone.

Kimmel actually tried his best to change the subject and talk about his guest’s more recent foray into serious interviews, but Letterman wasn’t having it. “The show was so bad that the Academy got together and they said, ‘We can never let this happen again!’” he joked, “so they shut down the film industry for one year.”

But then, Letterman finally shifted from self-deprecation to punch up to an even bigger celebrity target.

“Here’s something that may be a little sensitive,” Letterman said. “Where was Tom Cruise?”

After a short pause, Kimmel replied, “We don’t know where Tom Cruise was. We heard ‘production issues.’” When Letterman called that “nonsense,” Kimmel said, “Exactly, its very non-specific, but we have no idea what happened.”

According to reports leading up to the ceremony, the Top Gun: Maverick star was unable to attend because he was filming the latest Mission: Impossible movie overseas while other rumors indicated that he was trying to avoid a run-in with ex-wife Nicole Kidman. It later emerged that he had been in London celebrating Michael Caine’s 90th birthday.

“Tom Cruise should have been there, celebrating his big jet-pack maverick show,” Letterman told Kimmel, who suggested that perhaps he skipped the event because he knew he wasn’t going to win. “Between you and me, he should have been there, right?”

“Yeah, of course,” Kimmel replied, “he’s the prince Hollywood.”

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