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. In preparation for the Oscars, here is our roundup of memorable Oscars hosts of year’s past.
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.”