They’re the best Oscars hosts ever

It’s been 3 years since Hollywood’s most glamorous red carpet event has had a host. According to ABC, however, the 94th Annual Academy Awards which will air on March 27, 2022 will finally be a staged event. Despite not having an MC, the show still managed to run smoothly thanks to an assortment of celebrity presenters. That said, there’s no denying that it’s a lot nicer with someone at the helm.

Why this sudden change of direction? The first year the Oscars were held without a host in 2019, was out of necessity as Kevin Hart was selected but graciously pulled out days before the event when his past problematic tweets resurfaced and overshadowed the event in Controversy. With so little notice, the Academy had no time to find a replacement. Since the 2019 awards went off without a hitch, the Academy has been riding the same wave.

Since the announcement of the Oscars plan to have a host, everyone has been speculating who will return to the spotlight. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy has reached out to Spider-Man: No Coming Home star Tom Holland, who has already expressed interest in the gig. Whoever the concert recipient is, they could surely benefit from the advice of previous hosts. Here are the best Oscars hosts of all time.

Related: Lin-Manuel Miranda Says He’s Denied Hosting the Oscars in the Past

seven bob hope

Bob Hope

Legendary comedian Bob Hope hosted the Oscars long before they were televised. Throughout his career, he has hosted, alone or as a duo, a record 19 times, more than any other host to date. For a while, it was just assumed that Hope would host the event, and the Academy would only consider other options if Hope had a conflict. The late Bob Hope hosted his first awards show in 1940, which was the 12th Academy Awards. Due to his services to the Academy over the years, Hope received 5 awards, one of which in 1965 was a gold medal for his “unique and distinguished service to our industry and to the Academy”.

6 Johnny Carson


It’s no surprise that the “King of Late Night” Johnny Carson was an outstanding presenter. Carson was able to leverage the relationships he already had with many celebrities to elevate his prowess as a host. Carson has hosted the prestigious Oscars a total of five times, including four in succession from 1979 to 1982 and then back in 1984.

5 Chris Rock

chris rock

Provocative comedian Chris Rock hosted the Oscars in 2005 and 2016, but his shining year was 2016. Amid the #Oscarssowhite controversy, Rock addressed the Academy’s lack of diversity head-on. His unwavering honesty was direct, poignant, but, more than anything else, justified, and it was refreshing to see the issue addressed so frankly. In his opening speech, Rock said, “If they named the host, I wouldn’t even get this job! Y’all would be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now.

4 Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman

When Hugh Jackman was announced as the host of the 2009 Oscars, everyone had high expectations for the talented renaissance man, and he did not disappoint. Jackman opened with a clever musical number incorporating all 5 Best Picture nominees. Later in the show, he paid homage to musicals of the past with help from Beyonce, Amanda Seyfried and Zac Efron. While not as quick-witted as some of his comedian counterparts, he more than made up for it with his charm and enthusiasm.

3 Steve Martin


Steve Martin hosted the Oscars twice solo and once as a duo with Alec Baldwin. While Martin and Baldwin didn’t have much chemistry as a couple, Martin was very successful when he was alone. His humor was benevolent and warm, even when he was making fun of others, and the audience seemed to really appreciate him. “Hosting the Oscars is like making love to a beautiful woman,” Steve Martin once remarked. “It’s something I can only do when Billy Crystal is out of town.”

Related: Saturday Night Live’s Funniest Hosts, Ranked

2 Whoopi Goldberg


Whoopi Goldberg goes down in history not only as the first woman to host the Oscars solo, but also as the first black woman to host in 1994. She was so well received that she was offered the gig three times from more: in 1996, 1999, and 2002. Goldberg had fantastic comedic timing and wasn’t afraid to make an entrance, whether it was dropping from the ceiling or donning an elaborate Moulin Rouge costume. Goldberg was widely considered by the public to be one of the best hosts in Oscar history.

1 billy crystal


With his quick wit, impressive musical numbers, and comedic deliveries that perfectly balanced sarcasm and affection, billy crystal may be remembered as the best host ever. Second only to Bob Hope in hosted shows, Crystal hosted 9 nine times to Hopes’ nineteen. Crystal was such a successful emcee that in 1991 he won an Emmy Award for hosting and writing material for the 63rd Annual Academy Awards. Billy Crystal made an unforgettable entrance at the 1992 Oscars, when he was taken for his monologue wearing a mask emulating the infamous Hannibal Lecter.

Billy Crystal never got the call to return as Oscars host, and he's okay with that
Billy Crystal never got the call to return as Oscars host, and he’s okay with that

Billy Crystal explains why hosting the Oscars is so tricky in today’s social and political climate.

Read more

About the Author

Comments are closed.