Assuming that hot comedienne Amy Schumer isn’t ready for primetime, she’d make a damn fine Oscar presenter, and with Chris Rock now confirmed to host the 88th Academy Awards on February 28 (ABC), he’ll be able to land her, as he directed her raunchy Live at the Apollo TV special which aired on HBO this week. (Watch Rock’s opening monologue from the 2005 Oscars in the clip above.)
Triple-threat writer-director-star Rock already hosted the Oscars before, to strong critical reviews, in 2005, but got some blowback from industry insiders. And new show co-producer Reginald Hudlin has collaborated with the comedian, directing the pilot of his shuttered TV series “Everybody Hates Chris.”
Last year Rock wrote and directed Paramount’s “Top Five,” starring himself and Rosario Dawson, and in 2009 wrote and produced the documentary “Good Hair.” Besides writing, starring in and producing multiple features (“Nurse Betty,” “The Longest Yard”), in 2011 Rock debuted on Broadway debut in “The Motherfucker with the Hat,” which was nominated for six Tony Awards, including Best Play.
“I’m so glad to be hosting the Oscars,” said Rock. “It’s great to be back.”
Oh yes, it doesn’t hurt for the Academy, which is sensitive to diversity issues, to put forward an African-American Oscar host—who can pull in some talented buddies— in a year when the field of nominees may be very white indeed.
Ratings fell 16% for the 2015 kudocast hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, while Seth Macfarlane (2013) met near-universal disdain–although his numbers were up; not so with the excoriated team of James Franco and Anne Hathaway (2011). Since 2005 in-demand hosts include Ellen DeGeneres (2007, 2014), Jon Stewart (2006, 2008), Hugh Jackman (2009), Billy Crystal (2012), and Steve Martin (who teamed with Alec Baldwin in 2010).