SoCal man says instant fame after Kimmel’s Oscars surprise is mind-blowing

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SAN DIEGO - The Southern California moviegoer who became a trending topic after getting surprised by Jimmy Kimmel at the Oscars says the last couple days have been crazy.

Mike Young of Lake Elsinore took his wife to the movies to watch "A Wrinkle in Time" for her birthday Sunday and ended up meeting movie stars.

Young and his wife were sitting in the front row of the TCL Chinese Theater when the movie paused.

"We were halfway through the movie when they started coming in. We turned around and saw the celebrities coming in. It was mind-blowing," Young said.

Kimmel surprised a group of moviegoers by bringing several Academy Awards attendees with him to the movie theater next door.

Ansel Elgort, Mark Hamill, Emily Blunt, Lupita Nyong'o, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Margot Robbie, Lin Manuel Miranda and Guillermo del Toro joined Kimmel and his sidekick Guillermo Rodriguez to the delight of the audience.

Kimmel and "Wonder Woman" star Gadot stepped onto the movie theater's stage and the audience went wild.

"I have an announcement to make," Kimmel said. "You are live on the Oscars right now."


The rest of the celebs then trailed in as the moviegoers lept from their seats. Kimmel explained the stunt to the audience.

"We were talking about our appreciation for people who go to the movies and those are you people, so we wanted to say thank you to the moviegoers," Kimmel said.

Young remembers Kimmel quickly going around some people in the aisle to get him. Kimmel asked Young to help introduce the next presenters, Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph.

Some speculated Young's long beard played a part in getting noticed by the host.

"Maybe [my beard] set me up and caught his eye," Young said. "He did comment at the end that my beard smelled delicious."

The stars brought along some snacks, including candy, a 6-foot submarine sandwich and hot dogs shot out of hot dog guns.

Gadot, Blunt and Nyong each handed Young Junior Mints. He admitted he was eyeing gummy bears, but was happy to get the mint candies.

Young said he's been contacted by people from around the United States to talk about his instant fame.

"It's tiring and non-stop, yet mind-blowing," Young said. "You see this kind of thing happen to other people and you wonder how you'd be if it happened to you."

He was surprised how quickly news outlets posted stories online featuring his past employment, hobbies and other personal details.

"[City officials] thanked me for representing Lake Elsinore in a good way," said Young, who grew up in Pomona, but has called Lake Elsinore home for the last five years.

Young's 15-minutes of fame may extend into baseball season. He's been asked to throw out the first pitch at a local ballgame in Lake Elsinore.

Watch the video of Kimmel and other celebrities surprise the movie audience:

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