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11th Mar 2024

Viewers slam Oscars host over cringey Cillian Murphy pronunciation joke

Simon Kelly

Cillian Murphy name

“What a langer.”

It was a proud moment for Cillian Murphy and the whole of Ireland last night as the Cork man became the first Irish born actor to win the Academy Award for Best Actor.

However, it wouldn’t be an awards ceremony without the host making a few gaffes and, unfortunately for Cillian, the Irishman was the butt of a cringe-worthy joke from this year’s host Jimmy Kimmel.

It almost seems like a right of passage for every Irish star to be wrapped up in a drawn-out joke about how to pronounce their name, smiling politely as the Americans giggle over the fact their are languages other than English in the world.

During the late night host’s opening monologue, he of course went for the low-hanging fruit, with the line: “Christopher Nolan is joined by his longtime collaborator Cillian Murphy, who is just wonderful. 

“Interesting fact about his name: when he does drama, it’s pronounced Cillian. But when he does comedy, it’s pronounced silly-an.”

For us Irish it’s nearly implausible how anyone could mispronounce such a straightforward name as Cillian, but somehow they manage to do it.

Viewers slam Oscars host over cringey Cillian Murphy pronunciation joke

Cillian, like the consummate professional he is, managed to suppress his rage into a glassy-eyed smile as the host quickly moved on.

His wife Yvonne McGuinness, however, looked a bit more fed up of the joke as the camera panned away.

Judging by the reaction on Twitter/X, viewers were having none of it either, with one saying: “Cillian Murphy has the patience of a saint having to listen to Americans STILL pronouncing his name wrong in 2024.”

Another said: “Cillian Murphy is thinking ‘what a langer’ after Jimmy Kimmel makes fun of his name.”

A third commented: “Is it every day we gotta make fun of Irish names.”

At the SAG awards last month, poor Cillian had to sit through the hundreds of photographers shouting his name wrong throughout the red carpet. It’s not wonder people say he looks like he’s had enough of these events.

However, he didn’t come off the worst from Kimmel’s awful jokes last night, that was held for Robert Downey Jr.

Referring to the Best Supporting Actor winner, Kimmel said: “This is the highest point of Robert Downey Jr’s long career, well one of the highest points.”

The joke was clearly in reference to Downey’s much-publicised addiction struggles, which was labelled by many as a low-blow from the talk show host.

Downey, who has maintained sobriety for over 20 years now, was seen awkwardly smiling and attempting to move on from the joke, however Kimmel dug in deeper with another drugs reference.

One viewer said: “Kimmel’s gross jokes about Robert Downey Jr reinforce the stigmatizing belief that no matter how long you’ve been sober, your drug use will always define you. smh.”

Maybe next year Kimmel can take a night off and we can get John Mulaney hosting instead.