UPDATED: Chris Rock is finally returning as Oscar host 11 years after his one-time gig back in 2005. That was the year that “Million Dollar Baby” pulled off a surprise sweep. Rock’s reviews were good and ratings were strong with 42.16 million viewers. The only Oscarcast to top that number since then was two years ago when Ellen DeGeneres drew an audience of 43.74 million. By way of comparison, last year’s ceremony, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris had just 37.26 million watching.
Rock has a history with Reginald Hudlin, one of the two producers of this year’s Oscars. The multi-hyphenate directed the pilot of Rock’s laffer “Everybody Hates Chris” back in 2005. Hudlin and David Hill, a veteran producer of live TV events like “American Idol” the World Series, were paired up by the academy to produce the Oscars for the first time.
Our forum posters, many of whom are Hollywood insiders, have been furiously debating the merits of Rock’s return. Take a look at a sample of their comments below and then jump into the fierce fight, if you dare, HERE.
Atypical: Another swing at hosting for Chris Rock? I don’t have a problem with that. It’s also a preemptive #OscarsSoWhite play from producers, which I was expecting from a possible Kevin Hart choice too.
Professor Chaos: Chris Rock will be fantastic. I’m thrilled. I felt he got an unfair bad rap the first time.
Avi Christiaans: The Oscars will need to push the diversity angle this year like crazy. Since they don’t have control over the nominees (and how diversified they will be), hosting and presenting, performances are the go to place.
manakamana: I heard something about them seeking two hosts this year, and I immediately was hoping for a Chappelle/Rock combo. My fingers remain crossed!
Dominic Cobb: Chris Rock would be nice. But there’s still this matter of the cohost. It might seem like a weird pairing, but what about Amy Schumer? They just worked together (though not performed) and I think she would tick off all the demo boxes he won’t, and vice versa. Would be interesting.
AMG: Seems a bit of a ‘meh’ choice if true.
Kyle Bailey: Ugh no. Pick someone relevant (and funny)! But if we have to pick between him or Kevin Hart I’ll go with Rock any day. But still, I watched all the monologues from like 90-13 in a row one night and his was by far the worst. Even worse than Franco/Hathaway
BabyClyde: They just think he’ll do a good job.
tennisfreak: If they did he’d have been asked back the next year, not the next decade.
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Photo: Chris Rock. Credit: A.M.P.A.S./REX