Oscars 2016: Chris Rock Confirmed as Ceremony Host

Chris Rock to host 2016 Oscars

There are a number of comedians who have hosted multiple Academy Awards ceremonies over the many years that the Oscars has been a 'thing', with some of the more famous names in recent times including Ellen DeGeneres and Billy Crystal. We can now officially add Chris Rock to that list, as the actor/filmmaker has reached a new agreement with The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.

Word got out just yesterday (at the time of writing this) that Rock had entered negotiations to host the upcoming 88th Academy Awards ceremony (which will be broadcast live in February 2016) - more than ten years after Rock hosted the 77th Academy Awards show, back in 2005. However, as was indicated before, it's now a done deal.

The Oscars 2016 ceremony producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin confirmed the news about Rock hosting, with the following official joint statement:

“Chris Rock is truly the MVP of the entertainment industry. Comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, documentarian – he’s done it all. He’s going to be a phenomenal Oscar host!”

Rock's also issued a public statement on the matter, saying simply that "I’m so glad to be hosting the Oscars. It’s great to be back."

Chris Rock at the 2005 Oscars
Chris Rock hosting the Oscars circa 2005

Hudlin also directed the 2005 pilot for the TV series Everybody Hates Chris - Rock's autobiographical comedy series which he co-created - so there is a shared history between the duo. Hopefully, that also means the pair (and Hill) will be better positioned to create a cohesive vision of how the 2016 Oscars ceremony should play out - especially after the 2015 Oscars show that was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris (arguably) had more than its fair share of awkward moments due to strange tonal shifts, among other miscalculations.

Interestingly enough, Rock is in many ways now a much "safer" choice to host the Oscars show than he was in 2005, after having become an increasingly mainstream entertainer over the past decade - with multiple roles in Adam Sandler comedies as well family-friendly animated titles like The Bee Movie and the Madagascar sequels. Rock also gained newfound respect as a filmmaker in 2014, thanks to his critically-acclaimed comedy/drama, Top Five (which he headlined, in addition to writing and directing). In short: Rock the artist is in all the more comfortable a place now than when he last ran the Academy Awards.

Whether that means Rock and his collaborators will be more daring with how they approach the 2016 Oscars festivities - or if the show will be... well, as boring and/or predictable as it's often been in years past - that remains to be seen...


The 88th Academy Awards Ceremony will be telecast on Sunday, February 28th, 2016, by ABC Television Network starting at 7 p.m. ET.

Source: The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences

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