While we, the mass audience, are just beginning to enter the slew of year-end, Academy Awards-minded films and the accompanying Oscar race, the producers are already planning the 88th annual festivities. First and foremost is finding a host. And it would appear they found their guy.
According to Deadline, Chris Rock is in negotiations to host this years ceremony. It would be Rock’s second time hosting, after serving as the master of ceremonies in 2005. That year’s broadcast was the second highest-rated of the past ten years; second only to Ellen Degeneres’ turn two years ago.
Also of interest: the Oscars ceremony has new producers this year in Reginald Hudlin and David Hill, and in tapping Rock to host they are seemingly playing it safe by going with someone who has proven to attract an audience. That being said, Rock’s first go-round wasn’t particularly well-received by all. The producers may have that in the back of their minds, because this is what they said when they described the kind of host they wanted:
“We want the viewer to have a sense of excitement and a little hint of danger. I think those are good qualities to have in a host. It is a high-wire act obviously and a lot of (potential hosts) are ‘I’m not ready for that kind of challenge.’ But we think there is an exciting list of possibilities that could kill it.”
Not exactly sure what they mean by a “hint of danger.” But I think Rock is a great choice. Now, I don’t exactly remember his first time hosting as a stand out performance, but I’m not watching because of who is hosting. Every year there’s a dissection of who the host is, how they did, what jokes fell flat, and how was the opening dance number (because there is always one of those). And those things are important. The host can effect the size of the audience and the reception of the awards, and that is important and deserves scrutiny. The exposure of the movies and the perception of the industry is important. But in the end, the host is really just someone who brings some levity to the proceedings and helps bridge transitions. As long as they aren’t offensive or disruptive, they did their job. And it’s a hard job. Not anyone can stand up there. They need to be an entertainer and perform under pressure. But the drama comes from who will win, what will they say and how will the ‘losers’ react. It shouldn’t come from the person who really is in a hard situation, because you won’t please everyone.
Update: The Academy itself has confirmed Rock as host of the 2016 Oscars. Take a look at their announcement below:
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) October 21, 2015
The 88th Academy Awards will be February 28, 2016.