The 87th Annual Academy Awards saw Neil Patrick Harris host the event for the very first time. The Oscars, as it is popularly known, is hosted at the Dolby Theatre, which has been home to the ceremony since its construction in 2001.
Over the period of years, the award ceremony has seen new and repeated hosts. Critics have been ranking the Oscar hosts based on how they keep the audience entertained.
Where some of them shone, other hosts have delivered a gloomy performance.
Here we take a look at the five best and worst hosts in the history of the Academy Awards –
Though DeGeneres’ Oscar hosting was not the best in the history, she did a satisfactory job keeping the attendees on the edge of their seats. Hosting the event in 2014, she delivered a simple, yet humorous monologue. She also literally broke the social media website Twitter when her group selfie with other celebrities went viral. Critics were especially hard on her, claiming her jokes to be mean-spirited; the viewers, on the other hand, loved her hosting performance.
Billy Crystal is a Hollywood legend with popular movies like City Slickers, When Harry Met Sally… and Analyze This in his kitty. He has hosted the Academy Awards for an impressive nine times. The reason behind this is that he knows how to keep the audiences occupied. The veteran post is renowned for putting hilarious on-stage skits dedicating them to the movies nominated in the Best Picture category.
Many critics have described Johnny Carson as one of the best Oscar hosts. As per them, he never failed to make the audience laugh. The comedian, also known as the king of late night, hosted the Oscar ceremony five times.
Bob Hope has hosted the Oscars on 14 different occasions. He has also co-hosted the event and at one time alongside Donald Duck. Yes, you heard that right…Donald Duck!! Regardless of whether he was hosting the event alone or co-hosting it, he received massive praise from critics. In 1960, he received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
Jon Stewart hosted the Oscars on two occasions and he was entertaining as ever on both times. He was on a role during the 2008 Academy Awards coming up with some of the best introductions for the movies nominated in the Best Picture category.
When it comes to Chris Rock’s hosting skills at the 2005 Oscars, it was more of a frustration vent than actual hosting. He was seen condemning Jude Law on his acting as part of his ‘act’. Hollywood actor Sean Penn criticised Rock’s act calling it not funny. Though his opening monologue did bring out a lot of laughter, the rest of the evening went downhill.
David Letterman hosted the event in 1994 and it was a massive letdown. Even the opening joke he attempted while introducing Oprah Winfrey and Uma Thurman was found unfunny by many in attendance and the audience watching at home. His pun at Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon about them being a politically active couple also went unappreciated. No one ever asked as to why Letterman did not host another Oscar.
Jerry Lewis is one of the best comedians Hollywood has ever seen. Teaming with Dean Martin, he created some of the fantastic comedic works. 1959 was when Lewis hosted the Oscars, but his charm seemed to have faded out. The show ended 20 minutes early than scheduled.
MacFarlane cannot be considered the worst Oscars host ever, but he was not the best either. The man has numerous humour tricks up his sleeves, but hosting at the 2013 event was not his best work. Though the show ratings were high, a few of his jokes generated controversy. The New York Times labelled his hosting as ‘not funny, but ugly’.
Anne Hathaway and James Franco
This list cannot end with the infamous Oscar hosting by Anne Hathaway and James Franco. The chemistry between the two was all over the place. Where Hathaway was criticised for trying way too hard, her co-host Franco was condemned for having his head in the clouds. Roger Ebert tweeted after the event, “The worst Oscar cast I have ever seen”.