Chris Rock will host the 88th Academy Awards

Oscars Theater 600x310
A bit of breaking news for you folks. It’s been announced that Chris Rock will be the host of the Oscars. Yes, the comedian/actor has been selected to lead the 88th Academy Awards telecast, marking the second time that Rock has been given this prestigious job. Not everyone wants to do it more than once, or accepts it when offered, so this now puts him into a small club of returning hosts. I didn’t include him in my recent speculation about how could get the gig, so it just goes to show how unpredictable things can be. It’s his job now, so let’s discuss that for a little bit…

Chris Rock

First up, for comparison’s sake, here’s the other folks who are in Rock’s club of hosting the Academy Awards at least twice:

Bob Hope (19 times)
Billy Crystal (9 times)
Johnny Carson (5 times)
Whoopi Goldberg (4 times)
Jack Lemmon (4 times)
Jerry Lewis (3 times)
Steve Martin (3 times)
Conrad Nagel (3 times)
David Niven (3 times)
Jack Benny (2 times)
Chevy Chase (2 times)
Sammy Davis Jr. (2 times)
Ellen DeGeneres (2 times)
William C. deMille (2 times)
Jane Fonda (2 times)
Goldie Hawn (2 times)
Walter Matthau (2 times)
Richard Pryor (2 times)
Frank Sinatra (2 times)
James Stewart (2 times)
Jon Stewart (2 times)

Add in Rock to the two time club and those are all of the men and women who have been Oscar hosts more than once.

One thing to keep in mind about that above list is that a lot of those names that you might not have realized were hosts (let along hosts more than once) are there because they were part of a group that co-hosted the ceremony. I’ve often wondered if that could be something that the Academy goes back to for their show one day, but so far, they’ve just gone with two hosts of less in the modern era. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially since I’ve never especially disliked their choices, but I’d be thrilled to see them just have a group of stars co-host again one day. It’d be different, that’s for sure.

As for Rock, I enjoyed his last time around back in 2005, but I didn’t think he was the best choice ever. He’s not the worst either, and that’s the thing here…you rarely get raves or pans. Most just think of the job as a necessary evil. I’m a bit more generous, thinking that everyone pretty much has been fine so far, with a few doing slightly better than that. The hosting gig is amusing at the beginning, but a time filler after that, so it’s really not all that required of the Oscars to have them in the first place, if you ask me. They do though, so having Rock is a fine choice overall, and who knows…he might even knock it out of the park.

What matters most, more than who they choose as host, is how the show is produced and who/what the nominees turn out to be, so we have no idea how the 88th Academy Awards will go down, quality wise. Right now, things seem promising enough with Rock as host and the duo of David Hill and Reginald Hudlin producing. When the nominees are announced on January 14th, that will be another piece of the puzzle, but it won’t be until Oscar night on February 28th that we know how this one stacks up. Historically, you should expect things to be somewhere in the middle, but that’s just a guess based on nothing other than how most ceremonies are like that. Sit tight though folks, as the season is progressing and Oscar night is actually a bit closer than you might think…

Stay tuned for much more on the 88th Academy Awards between now and the end of February!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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