Even though this year has been upended in almost every possible way, People magazine was determined to keep its 35-year tradition going: the announcement of its Sexiest Man Alive.

This year, the honor went to Michael B. Jordan, 33, the celebrated movie star known for films such as “Black Panther” and “Creed.” The magazine also wrote that Jordan’s production company was an early adopter of inclusion riders — which ensures diversity in a film’s cast and crew that mirrors real-world demographics — and is a vocal supporter in the presidential election (last month, he joined former president Barack Obama and now-Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris for a fundraiser) and the Black Lives Matter movement.

And because it’s 2020, Jordan arrived dressed in a hazmat-like suit for the unveiling on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Tuesday night. This led to a guessing game to deduce his identity, as fans interrogated him via Zoom with questions about whether he worked in film (yes), had a celebrity sibling or parent (no), had ever been in a relationship with Taylor Swift (“That’s pretty specific, but, uh … no”), had more than 5 million Instagram followers (yes) or played Aquaman (no).

Eventually, they narrowed it down. “Are you Michael B. Jordan?” one woman asked. The man in the hazmat-like suit paused. “How do I answer that?” he asked Kimmel.

When all was revealed, he sat down with Kimmel for an interview; the late-night host noted that Jordan “was bestowed with the most prestigious honor available to humankind … whether President Trump accepts his victory or not.”

Jordan revealed he learned the news when his publicist and manager called when he was in the car with a friend — and, of course, his friend immediately started to make fun of him. “Sexiest Man, that’s cool to everybody else,” Jordan said. “But anybody who really knows you, that’s just another way they can give jabs to you.”

Kimmel then aired a clip from Jordan’s appearance on his show in January, before the coronavirus pandemic shut everything down and he had a studio audience. At the time, Kimmel told him that whenever he teased Jordan as a guest, the women in the crowd lost their minds. “I think you might be front-runner for Sexiest Man Alive this year,” Kimmel predicted.

So naturally, Kimmel had to brag about this. “I feel like I put it out in the universe and the universe said yes, that is correct, he is the sexiest man,” he said. “It’s my ESP, Extra Sexiest Perception. It comes in very handy. … This is the only time I’ve used it, but it really worked.”

Then Kimmel held up a copy of the magazine and pointed out that in the “Sexy at Every Age” feature, the late-night host was named the sexiest man at 53 — and NBA legend Michael Jordan was the winner for age 57. Kimmel wondered if being featured as the main Sexiest Man — while the other Michael Jordan only got a tiny photo — might even be the more rewarding part of the honor.

“I’ll take that,” Jordan said, laughing. “I’m not going to have too many of those over MJ, so I’m going to take that one.”

Previous Sexiest Man Alive winners:

1985: Mel Gibson

1986: Mark Harmon

1987: Harry Hamlin

1988: John F. Kennedy Jr.

1989: Sean Connery

1990: Tom Cruise

1991: Patrick Swayze

1992: Nick Nolte

1993: Richard Gere and Cindy Crawford (sexiest couple)

1994: No one — possible lack of sexiness that year

1995: Brad Pitt

1996: Denzel Washington

1997: George Clooney

1998: Harrison Ford

1999: Richard Gere (again)

2000: Brad Pitt (again)

2001: Pierce Brosnan

2002: Ben Affleck

2003: Johnny Depp

2004: Jude Law

2005: Matthew McConaughey

2006: George Clooney (again)

2007: Matt Damon

2008: Hugh Jackman

2009: Johnny Depp (again)

2010: Ryan Reynolds

2011: Bradley Cooper

2012: Channing Tatum

2013: Adam Levine

2014: Chris Hemsworth

2015: David Beckham

2016: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

2017: Blake Shelton

2018: Idris Elba

2019: John Legend

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