The yearly endurance test known as the Oscars often relies heavily on the host to keep an audience from falling asleep, flipping to something else, or tuning in at all. And each year, the Academy tries something a little different to keep things interesting. They went edgy with Seth MacFarlane a few years ago and that turned out badly, so they switched gears, with Ellen DeGeneres and Neil Patrick Harris providing mainstream, comfortable, if not entirely memorable duties on the stage. So what’s the plan for 2016?
Well, Chris Rock is returning to host, over a decade since his turn in 2005. Producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin teased last month they might go down the road of having a pair of hosts, but it seems those plans didn’t pan out. Rock is a great choice, and as you can see from his 2005 opening monologue below, he’s not afraid to take jabs, with Cuba Gooding Jr., Jude Law and Michael Moore among his targets that year.
The Oscars will air on February 28th.