As one of his first decisions as the new producer of the Academy Awards broadcast, Gil Cates hired comedian and actor Billy Crystal as the 1990 ceremony host. Crystal had a box office smash the previous year with “When Harry Met Sally” and had sort of auditioned for the job with enthusiastically well-received appearances on previous Oscars as a presenter. He brought a mix of enthusiasm, rat-a-tat jokes, musical opening numbers and cleverly filmed pieces over his nine times as emcee.
Crystal followed in the tradition of two of the best hosts in Oscars history — Bob Hope and Johnny Carson. He is also the only host of the past three decades to take the reigns for two consecutive ceremonies before Jimmy Kimmel at last year’s event and the one coming up next on March 4. But is he the best of the past 25 years? Vote in our new poll below which features all of the solo performers and duos who have served in the role. And take a tour of our photo gallery above with more information and pictures of all of these hosts.
Billy Crystal — host of the ceremonies for 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2004, 2012
Whoopi Goldberg — host of the ceremonies for 1994, 1996, 1999, 2002
David Letterman — host of the ceremony for 1995
Steve Martin — host of the ceremonies for 2001, 2003, 2010 (co-hosted with Alec Baldwin)
Chris Rock — host of the ceremonies for 2005, 2016
Jon Stewart — host of the ceremonies for 2006, 2008
Ellen DeGeneres — host of the ceremonies for 2007, 2014
Hugh Jackman — host of the ceremony for 2009
James Franco and Anne Hathaway — host of the ceremony for 2011
Seth MacFarlane — host of the ceremony for 2013
Neil Patrick Harris — host of the ceremony for 2015
Jimmy Kimmel — host of the ceremonies for 2017 and upcoming 2018
Be sure to make your Oscar predictions so that Hollywood insiders can see how their films and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on March 4. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Oscars taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our movie forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.