Chris Rock Confirmed To Host 2016 Oscars
The Oscars hosting gig has come under scrutiny the past few years as a result of gradually declining ratings for the show. The trend reached a trough in Neil Patrick Harris last year, who brought in the lowest ratings for the Academy Awards in six years.
Now, under immense pressure to book a winner, producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin have chosen actor, comedian, and director Chris Rock to host the 88th Academy Awards. Rock confirmed the news himself on Twitter with the message: "Look who's back. #Oscars." and a photo of him holding the iconic golden statuette.
It will be Rock's second time hosting the Oscars. He previously hosted in 2005, a gig that was met - as most hosting performances are - with mixed reviews. The late Roger Ebert called Rock's opening monologue "surprisingly pointed, topical, and not shy of controversy." On the other end of the spectrum, USA Today called Rock "one of the worst hosts ever" to pilot the Academy Awards.
Hill and Hudlin, who were hired to produce the 2016 awards show, hope that Rock's wide array of talents in stand-up comedy, acting, directing, writing, and producing, combined with his veteran experience, will make him a hit. "Chris Rock is truly the MVP of the industry," said Hill and Hudlin in a statement.
While it's easy to say that Rock's talents and energy should make him a great Oscars host, the gig is truly a difficult one. Similar things were said about Neil Patrick Harris last year, who wound up delivering an awkward, off-paced show. As always, how well the Oscars host is said to do is up to the critics and the people, who have already shown that mixed reviews are almost always a given for the job.
Hopefully for Rock, unlike Ellen DeGeneres, veteran experience at hosting the Academy Awards will come in handy.