Seven years after hosting the Oscars, Ellen DeGeneres has inked a deal to return to the stage of the Dolby Theater. Back in 2007, nearly 40 million tuned in to see her emcee a kudocast capped off by “The Departed” winning Best Picture.
The Emmy champ confirmed the news via Twitter: “It’s official: I’m hosting the #Oscars! I’d like to thank @TheAcademy, my wife Portia and, oh dear, there goes the orchestra.”
The announcement comes just three days after the election of marketing guru Cheryl Boone Isaacs as the first African American president of the motion picture academy. Back in April, her predecessor, Hawk Koch, had broken with tradition and re-upped Oscarcast producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron rather than leaving that decision to his successor.
In Friday’s press release Issacs said, “I agreed with Craig and Neil immediately that Ellen is the ideal host for this year’s show. We’re looking forward to an entertaining, engaging and fun show.”
For their part, the producers said: “We are thrilled to have Ellen DeGeneres host the Oscars. As a longtime friend, we had always hoped to find a project for us to do together and nothing could be more exciting than teaming up to do the Oscars. There are few stars today who have Ellen’s gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity. She is beloved everywhere and we expect that the audience at the Dolby Theatre, and in homes around the globe, will be as excited by this news as we are.”
And the always wry comedienne commented: “I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time. You know what they say — the third time’s the charm.”
Back in 2007, DeGeneres picked up an Emmy bid in the now-defunct individual variety performance category but was bested by crooner Tony Bennett for a TV concert. These days, the hosts of kudocasts contend as part of the producing team in the special class category.
This year’s Oscars, emceed by Seth MacFarlane, contend at the Emmys against last year’s Tonys presided over by Neil Patrick Harris, this year’s Golden Globes hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony and a concert version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel.”
Below, watch Ellen’s heartfelt opening monologue from 2007.