Most years, the greatest intrigue surrounding the Oscar ceremony is about who will win and who will lose the night's biggest prizes. Not this year though, as just finding a host for the ceremony has proven insurmountable. One person who has no interest in taking the job is former host Chris Rock. The comedian made his thoughts on the matter quite clear, saying:
Steve Martin is here. You should host the Oscars. You're the best. Steve Martin should host the Oscars! Because I'm not doing it, goddammit! You're not getting me.
Chris Rock's comments at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards dinner, as reported by Variety, leave no wiggle room for the comedian to slide into the hosting gig. In his refusal, he immediately passed the buck to three-time Oscar host Steve Martin, offering the venerable comedian up as tribute to the ceremony, as if doing so would save him from having to do it.
It's funny how he jokingly treated the gig, as if it's a trap that is to be avoided and one that is so terrible that it is better to sacrifice one's friends than to have to endure. That pretty much tells you all you need to know about whether or not Chris Rock has even the slightest bit of interest in doing the Academy a solid favor by hosting.
It wouldn't be the first time Chris Rock has hosted the Oscars either, as he previously led the ceremony in 2005 and 2016. So he would have been an obvious and natural choice as a proven past host of the ceremony. His adamant refusal does kind of make you wonder if he was asked to do it.
Maybe his past experiences informed his desire to never take on the thankless job again. Although at the NYFCC Awards, Chris Rock also mentioned that now he wouldn't be allowed to say something really offensive and funny, indicating that the perceived restrictions on his act are at least part of what would make taking the job now unappealing. And given the difficulty in finding a host, he may not be alone in that sentiment.
The reason that Chris Rock was delivering these jokes and nominating Steve Martin is because the 91st Academy Awards are without a host. Kevin Hart was briefly set for the job before dropping out due to controversy surrounding past tweets and jokes. Since that happened, there has been a question mark of who will replace The Upside star or if he will return after seemingly dancing around the idea.
But despite Ellen DeGeneres hoping he would, Kevin Hart is now in the Chris Rock camp of 'not gonna happen.' The Oscars now appear to be moving forward without a host at all and will instead proceed with a bunch of actors introducing segments, as well as an attempt to unite the Avengers for the ceremony.
The 91st Academy Awards take place on ABC on Sunday, February 24. For all of the big movies that will be hoping to take home some gold in next year's ceremony, check out our 2019 release schedule.