It’s offical. Comedian Chris Rock will host the 88th annual Academy Awards. Rock confirmed the news himself Wednesday morning on Twitter with a brief message: “Look who’s back. #Oscars,” he wrote alongside a photo of him holding the golden statue.
“Chris Rock is truly the MVP of the entertainment industry,” said Oscar show producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin. “Comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, documentarian — he’s done it all. He’s going to be a phenomenal Oscar host!”
Rock hosted the show a decade ago when Million Dollar Baby walked away with the Best Picture prize.
His appearance on the 2005 telecast was not without its controversy. He came under fire a month before the show when he said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, “Come on, it’s a fashion show. No one performs; it’s not like a music show. What straight black man sits there and watches the Oscars? Show me one.”
Then on the night of the telecast, he insulted actors as varied as Tobey Maguire, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell.
All of that seems to be forgotten with the praise the Academy is extending to the multi-hypenate, who most recently directed Amy Shumer’s HBO comedy special after witing, directing and starring in the critically-acclaimed film Top Five.
“We share David and Reggie’s excitement in welcoming Chris, whose comedic voice has really defined a generation,” said Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “He is certain to bring his amazing array of talents to this year’s show.”
It will be interesting to see if he will be asked to tone down his trademark biting humor for the broadcast, scheduled for Feb. 28. We’re hoping that won’t be the case.