ABC Is Open To Having Chris Rock Host The Oscars Next Year
First time Oscar-winner Will Smith is currently be prohibited from stepping anywhere near the Academy Awards until 2033, and that’s because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences decided that a public slap across the face was one step too far when it comes to their standards of audience behavior. But the Oscars’ relationship with Will’s slap-receiver, Chris Rock, is moving in an entirely different direction. For the past couple of years, the Academy has struggled to nail down a host for the show, and even this year it felt like a scramble to put someone in front of the mic (eventually they settled on Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall). But if ABC’s President of Entertainment is telling the truth, then it sounds like ABC is pretty close to skipping all the host-finding panic of years past, and just giving the whole thing to Chris Rock next year.
Chris Rock has hosted the show twice before: for the first time in 2005, and again in 2016. And who knows, if Deadline is correct, then it could also be for a third time in 2023 as well. And ABC President of Entertainment Craig Erwich, says that Chris’ name is in the mix as a possible host.
ABC will air the 95th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday March 12, and Craig Erwich promises that the Disney-owned network will make the telecast “even better” than this year. He was also open to the idea of Rock hosting the show.
“My assessment of the Oscars was that it was really a successful year for the show. Obviously there was a lot of controversy, which overshadowed a lot of the positive things about the show, but I was really happy with the program,” he said. “Even before that very unfortunate moment, the show started off up year over year, and we came back in a big way.”
Deadline notes that this year’s Oscars broadcast saw significantly higher ratings than last year’s stinky returns. So regardless of the slap that killed Will’s chances of presenting the award for Best Actress next year, or any year after that for ten years, the 2022 Oscars were seen as a ratings success.
Also, bringing Chris Rock back to host would make sense for the Oscars, because the Academy is as predictable as a post-Taco Bell fart, and there’s nothing they love more than an obvious callback to a previously made joke. Like in 2015, when they brought John Travolta on stage with Idina Menzel to present the award for Best Original Song, which was a direct callback to the previous year, when John introduced Idina’s performance of “Let It Go” and accidentally called her “the Wicked-ly talented Adele Dazeem.” So you know the Academy is frothing at the mouth just thinking of the ratings they could get by bringing back the man who Will Smith “slapped the shit out of” at last year’s Oscars. It’s just not known if Chris Rock wants to do it. First of all, have they been able to reach him? He’s been wearing giant headphones to avoid talking about the Oscars, so it’s possible no one has made contact yet. And have they figured out how much money Chris would be willing to accept in exchange for jokes about that slap? Chris has said he’s not saying shit unless he gets enough cash dropped in his lap. So if the Academy thinks they can get Chris in some cartoonishly over-the-top full-body protective gear for an Oscar-standard cringey host bit, they better start writing several zeros on a check.