7 Best Oscar Hosts Of All Time
When it comes to awards shows, the Academy Awards are amongst the dullest, which is why they need a funny and energetic host. Not just anyone can do this job. In fact, some of the greatest comedians that we know and love have failed at this endeavor. This year, Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting the big event. He’s had some great luck hosting the Primetime Emmy Awards; however, it remains to be seen if he’s a good fit for the Academy. We hope he knocks it out of the park. In preparation for the Oscars, here are the 7 best hosts of all time!
7. Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart has had the pleasure of hosting the Academy Awards twice – once in 2006 and again in 2008. In 2006, he played it safe, which earned him mixed reviews. Roger Ebert gave him a favorable review, comparing him to Johnny Carson. James Poniewozik of Time magazine called him an anti-host because he poked fun at parts of the broadcast that were deserving of it.
When Stewart hosted the ceremony again in 2008, he brought the magic. Matthew Gilbert of the Boston Globe praised Stewart’s hosting abilities. “It was good to see Jon Stewart being Jon Stewart. He is shaping up to be a dependable Oscar host for the post-Billy Crystal years. He’s not musical, but he’s versatile enough to swing smoothly between jokes about politics, Hollywood, new media, and, most importantly, hair,” he wrote. Brian Lowry of Variety also lauded his performance, noting that he kept “a playful, irreverent tone throughout the night, whether it was jesting about Cate Blanchett’s versatility or watching Lawrence of Arabia on an iPhone screen.”
6. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin
Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin co-hosted the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. These two were quite the duo. They made jokes at the each other’s expense and then turned their digs on the various celebrities in the audience. “Meryl Streep holds the most nominations for any actor,” Martin said. “Or, as I like to think of it, the most losses.” They also poked fun at Helen Mirren and the film “Precious.”
The ceremony ended up bringing in more viewers than the year before. An average of 41.62 million people tuned in, which was a 13% increase from 2009. While some critics didn’t find Martin and Baldwin to be that funny, many did. Hank Stuever of The Washington Post praised them, writing that they “proved to be classy and quippy throughout the night.” Matthew Gilbert of Boston Globe was equally effusive. “The delivery was expert and warmly conversational, like one of those old-school comedy teams,” he wrote.