And the 2019 Oscar host winner is … RRRRIIIIPPPP … comic actor Kevin Hart

The Hollywood Reporter might have just labeled the position of Oscar host as”the least wanted job in Hollywood,” but  thank goodness one movie funny man doesn’t feel that way — Kevin Hart, star of the “Ride Along” and “Jumanji” movie franchises as well as this year’s summer comedy “Night School” opposite Tiffany Haddish.

Hart, 39, broke the news that he would follow Jimmy Kimmel‘s two-time stint as emcee, including 2016’s fabulous flub that led to the wrong Best Picture winner being announced, on his Instagram account. He also shared his excitement about his new gig  at the 2019 Oscars that will air on ABC on Feb. 24:

“I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time. … To be able to join the legendary list of hosts that have graced this stage is unbelivable. I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now.” He added this vow: “I will be sure to make this year’s Oscars a special one.”

Well, we hate to break it to him, but the pressure is definitely on. Last year’s show hit an all-time ratings low with just 26.5 million viewers watching last March’s show. The Academy board has since taken steps to make sure the often-unwieldly telecast won’t go beyond three hours.  Not every award among the 24 Oscar categories will be announced live, with six to eight trophies being handed out before the live audience during ad breaks and excerpts being aired later during the show.

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Hart isn’t a total hosting newbie, having shared the duty of overseeing the MTV Movie Awards with his “Central Intelligence” co-star Dwayne Johnson in the past.  He has at least one plus on his side: Unlike other years this decade when smaller drama titles such as “Spotlight” and  “Moonlight” won the night’s top prize, there are several blockbusters that will likely be in contention at this 91st edition of the Academy Awards.

Not only does “Black Panther” stand a good chance to show up in several categories especially among the technical awards, but it could make the cut as the first comic-book superhero title to compete for Best Picture. Then there are a bonanza of music-filled possibilities, such as “A Star Is Born,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Mary Poppins Returns.” And who knows? Maybe the popular Ms. Haddish will make a cameo appearance with her pal.

 

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