Robert Downey Jr. Reacts to Jimmy Kimmel’s Oscar Joke About Drug Addiction

Robert Downey Jr Stays Unbothered by Jimmy Kimmels Oscar Joke About Past Drug Addiction
Robert Downey Jr, Jimmy Kimmel Kevin Winter/Getty Images(2)

Robert Downey Jr. is finally sharing how he really felt about Jimmy Kimmel’s 2024 Oscars joke about his past substance abuse struggles.

“I don’t care. I love Jimmy Kimmel,” Downey, 59, shared in his Esquire profile, published on Monday, April 8. “I think he’s a national treasure.”

Kimmel, 56, opened the 96th Academy Awards on March 10 by poking fun at multiple A-listers in the audience. Downey was a major target.

“Congratulations to Cillian [Murphy]’s costar Robert Downey Jr.,” he quipped, discussing the success of Oppenheimer in which both Murphy, 47, and Downey star. “This is the highest point of Robert Downey Jr.’s long and illustrious career. Well, one of the highest points.”

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Downey appeared to point at his nose upon hearing the joke.

Robert Downey Jr Stays Unbothered by Jimmy Kimmels Oscar Joke About Past Drug Addiction
Robert Downey Jr. (R) accepts the Best Picture award for “Oppenheimer” onstage during the 96th Annual Academy Awards. Kevin Winter/Getty Images

“Was it too on the nose or was that a drug motion you made?” Kimmel continued. “Well, look at this guy, he’s so handsome and talented, he’s won every award there is to win … and is that an acceptance speech or do you just have a very rectangular penis?”

Kimmel’s roast continued: “What a story. Not even 20 years ago, things weren’t going that great. He played the villain in a movie where Tim Allen turns into a dog, right? And if you ever decide to remake that film, I have just the guy to play Tim Allen. Messi [the dog from Anatomy of a Fall].”

Downey took it like a champ in the moment, though he motioned for Kimmel to move along, and according to his Esquire interview, the actor took the jokes in stride.

The former Iron Man star experienced addiction struggles in the public eye during the early days of his career. He was arrested several times and entered multiple treatment programs before starting his sobriety journey in 2003. Downey has credited his wife, Susan Downey, on several occasions with becoming sober — and his ongoing success.

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He even mentioned Susan, 50, when accepting the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as Lewis Strauss in Oppenheimer.

“I’d like to thank my terrible childhood and The Academy. In that order,” Downey joked. “I’d like to thank my veterinarian, I mean my wife, Susan Downey. She found me, a snarling rescue pet and you loved me back to life. That’s why I’m here.”

Downey also discussed the importance of his Oppenheimer role.

“Here’s my little secret. I needed this job more than it needed me. I stand here before you, a better man because of it,” he continued. “What we do is meaningful, and the stuff that we decide to make is important.”

While thanking members of his team one by one, Downey also shouted out his entertainment lawyer, Tom Hanson, whom he’s worked with for 40 years. “The half of which he spent trying to get me insured and bailing me out, thanks, bro,” Downey quipped.