Two of Hollywood's biggest bad boys are set to battle it out as hosts of rival showbiz award ceremonies in the coming months. In one corner, Chris Rock whose returning to emcee the Oscars after an 11-year hiatus. In the other, Ricky Gervais who'll be presiding over the party that is the Golden Globes for a fourth time after taking a three-year break from the gig.
Which one of these tart-tongued comedians are you most looking forward to watching work his magic? Cast your vote in the poll at the bottom of this post.
As a refresher, Rock presided over the 2004 Oscars, the year that "Million Dollar Baby" pulled off a surprise sweep. He opened the show with a sassy monlogue that targeted a slew of famous faces sitting in the audience of the Dolby Theater including Nicole Kidman, Cuba Gooding Jr, Tobey Maguire and Colin Ferrell. He milked a running gag about Jude Law seeming to be in every movie made that year, to which presenter Sean Penn took offence (seeing Sean seethe was an added bonus to this viewer.)
Rock made special mention of the record five Oscar nominations for black performers: "It's kind of like the Def Oscar Jam." And two of them prevailed — Jamie Foxx for his lead role in "Ray" and Morgan Freeman for his supporting turn in "MIllion Dollar Baby." Among those Freeman edged out was Foxx, who contended in that category for "Collateral."
Expect Rock to roll on about the drop in diversity among acting nominees. Last year no black performers contended. This year, Gold Derby predicts that only one black performer — British born Idris Elba ("Beasts of No Nation") — will number among the 20 nominees across the four acting categories.
Gervais first hosted the Golden Globes in 2009 ("Avatar" won over eventual Oscar champ "The Hurt Locker"). He made merry with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and its head honcho Philip Berk: "I had to help the HFPA president off the toilet and pop his teeth back in."
He was back at the Beverly Hilton the following year, when "The Social Network" prevailed over eventual Oscar winner "The King's Speech" and fired this shot: "I’d like to quash this ridiculous rumor going around that the only reason 'The Tourist' was nominated was so the HFPA could hang out with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie. That is rubbish. That is not the only reason. They also accepted bribes." But obvioulsy not enough money changed hands as "The Kids Are All Right" claimed both Best Comedy/Musical Picture and Actress (Annette Being) while Paul Giamatti won Best Comedy/Musical Actor for "Barney's Version."
Gervais made his farewell appearance in 2011, the year of "The Descendants" versus "The Artist"; the latter went on to sweep the Oscars. He dropped the F-bomb as well as this bon mot: "The Golden Globes are to the Oscars what Kim Kardashian is to Kate Middleton. A bit louder, a bit trashier, a bit drunker, and more easily bought."
After voting in our poll, be sure to make your Oscar predictions beginning with Best Picture. What films do you think will be in the line-up this year? Earn a place of honor on our leaderboard and a starring role in next year's Top 24 Users (the two dozen folks who do the best predicting this year's Oscar nominations).
Last year, our Top 24 Users led the way with an accuracy rate of 76.67% when it came to predicting the Oscar nominations. Next up were Gold Derby's Editors with 74.44%, followed by the Experts with 71.11% and all Users with 68.09%. (Click on any of these groups to see what they got right and wrong last year.)
Which group will be victorious this year? Meet the guy who won our contest to predict the Oscar nominations last year — and learn how he did it and how you can be our next Gold Derby superstar.
As some of our Users turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, it's important that you give us your predictions. Your picks influence our Users racetrack odds, which also factor into our official combined odds.