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Inside the Hollywood Tour Bus Oscar Gag: The Customers Really Had No Idea!

The joke that stole the show.

This was originally published on PEOPLE.

A few unsuspecting celebrity enthusiasts were in for the surprise of their lives when their Hollywood tour bus made a stop at the Academy Awards on Sunday night.

Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel enlisted the help of Starline City Sightseeing Hollywood bus tours to pull off the elaborate gag — and the company was more than happy to get in on the joke.

“It was a surprise for the customers,” a Starline employee told PEOPLE. “They thought they were just on a normal tour. A few people had made reservations but others bought their tickets that day.”

But this tour was certainly anything but normal. Kimmel brought the group into the Dolby Theatre, letting them get up close and personal with the biggest names in the industry.

And to make sure the joke went off without a hitch, a few of the employees were also left in the dark until the big reveal.

“They didn’t tell us here. I didn’t find out until I came in on my shift tonight,” they said. “I couldn’t believe it!”

Once the group entered the theater, they hugged, kissed and took selfies with celebrities including Nicole Kidman, Denzel Washington, Jennifer Aniston and Ryan Gosling. A few lucky passengers even got to hold Mahershala Ali‘s newly-won Oscar trophy.