We’ve officially made it to 2016. With 2015 behind us, that means all the movies eligible for this year’s Academy Awards have been released. The process of figuring out what the year’s best movies were has now begun, and so it’s also time to begin to promote the show that celebrates such a topic: The Academ yAwards. The first Oscars ad spot with host Chris Rock is out, and according to him, the show is going to be incredibly depressing.
It's one joke but it's one that sounds like Chris Rock. The line fits in with Rock’s previous hosting stint from 10 years ago, so if you liked his performance then, this promises to be no different. The comedian has a tendency to poke fun at his fellow celebrities. As long as everybody has a sense of humor about themselves, things should be fine. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced two months ago that Rock would be returning to the hosting gig. Ratings for the annual telecast have been all over the place in recent years, and Rock has actually evolved from from a young "edgy" comedian to now occupying a place of fairly general notoriety. He likely qualifies as safe, while also being popular.
Being the Oscar host is quite possibly the most difficult job in both Hollywood and television. The host is required to bring his or her own comedy, while also treating the occasion with reverence. Beyond an opening monologue, the host usually does very little beyond tossing out one-liners as they introduce presenters and clip montages. For as little as they do, the host tends to be judged rather harshly. The show is much more likely to be greatly affected by a particularly moving acceptance speech then by a joke that doesn’t land coming from the host.
The Academy has tried a variety of different presentation options over the years in an attempt to stumble on a successful host. For the most part, they have been unsuccessful. They tried to appeal to a younger demographic with Anne Hathaway and James Franco. That didn’t work. They went the incredibly unusual route of going with a comedian who was intended to shock the audience with Seth MacFarlane. MacFarlane did exactly what everybody expected him to do, which meant large chunks of the audience were offended and unimpressed.
Chris Rock is still very likely to shock some people and potentially offend the celebrities in the audience. While that will probably be kept to a minimum, Rock is known for being opinionated and it’s doubtful he’ll keep all the opinions to himself.
Are you looking forward to the Oscar telecast this year? How much does the host actually impact your enjoyment of the show?