The former late-night host dubbed the Top Gun: Maverick star "Mr. Big Shot," adding, "He should’ve been there."

David Letterman is demanding answers to the question that's been on everyone's mind since Sunday's Oscars: "Where was Tom Cruise?"

While visiting Jimmy Kimmel Live on Wednesday, the former late-night host asked Oscars emcee Jimmy Kimmel for the real reason why Cruise, who he dubbed "Mr. Big Shot," wasn't among the myriad stars in attendance at the Academy Awards.

"We don't know where Tom Cruise was," Kimmel explained. "We heard production issues." Letterman then interjected, "What does that mean? That's nonsense. Tom Cruise should've been there celebrating his big jetpack Maverick show."

Kimmel acknowledged that it was a "very non-specific" excuse, but that "we have no idea what happened." He added, "It seems like he should've been there, but he was not there and, like you were saying before, maybe he didn't feel like he was gonna win so he didn't want to come."

"Yes, but it's…" Letterman hedged. "Between you and me, he should've been there, right?" Kimmel agreed that Cruise "of course" should've been there, especially since the actor is the current reigning "prince of Hollywood" following the success of Top Gun.

Still, Letterman commended Kimmel on the event, which boasted the highest ratings of any awards show in three years. "[Y]ou resurrected this carcass and the network and the Academy ought to be very grateful," Letterman noted, later adding: "More to the power of your success, if Mr. Big Shot is not there and still the show has never been more successful, nice going Jimmy."

David Letterman and Tom Cruise
David Letterman; Tom Cruise
| Credit: Lou Rocco/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images; Samir Hussein/WireImage

While Cruise skipped the ceremony, his Top Gun: Maverick costars Miles Teller, Monica Barbaro, Greg Tarzan Davis, Jennifer Connelly, Jay Ellis, Lewis Pullman, Danny Ramirez, and Charles Parnell were all in attendance at the event. The massively popular sequel, which received six nominations, ended up winning the award for Best Sound

During the event, Kimmel poked fun at Cruise during his opening monologue with a joke about Scientology. However, Jimmy Kimmel Live producer Molly McNearney revealed they had initially planned to salute Cruise's career during Kimmel's speech before finding out that the actor would be absent.

"We had about a three-minute chunk of the monologue dedicated to Tom Cruise, honoring him and his role in reviving the movie industry. We were so disappointed when we learned a few days before the Oscars that he wouldn't be there," McNearney told Variety. "Jimmy loves him and really wanted to celebrate him."

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