Entertainment

Best, worst and weirdest Oscar hosts of all time

Updated 1811 GMT (0211 HKT) April 19, 2016
Share
oscar hosts Anne Hathaway and James Francooscar hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco
1 of 18
Anne Hathaway and James Franco are two of the most awkward hosts in the history of the Academy Awards. Hathaway got flak for trying too hard, while Franco was criticized for having his head in the clouds. "The worst Oscarcast I've seen, and I go back awhile," the late Roger Ebert tweeted at the time. "Some great winners, a nice distribution of awards, but the show? Dead. In. The. Water." Let's see how they stack up against hosts of Oscars past. GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images
Chris Rock hosted the 88th Academy Awards ceremony on February 28. Rock also hosted the show in 2005. Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Variety
Ellen DeGeneres hosted the Academy Awards for the second time in 2014; her first shot at the gig was in 2007. She posed for a selfie mid-show with several famous faces during her second time out and kept the tone congenial. Some critics panned her jokes as mean-spirited, but viewers gave her a big thumbs up in a CNN poll. twitter/theellenshow
We are not making this up. In 1958, an animated (and bare-bottomed) Donald Duck co-hosted the show with Bob Hope, Jack Lemmon, Rosalind Russell and James Stewart. Walt Disney Co./Everett Collection
In 1987, "Crocodile Dundee" star Paul Hogan co-hosted the show along with Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn. Even Hogan has said the experience felt like "a surreal moment." David Mcgough/DMI/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
Hugh Jackman was high-energy, classy and charming when he hosted the Oscars in 2009. Who could have imagined it from Wolverine? Kevin Winter/Getty Images
It wasn't a slam-dunk success, but Neil Patrick Harris had his moments while emceeing the 2015 Academy Awards ceremony. The versatile entertainer came out on stage in his underwear, revealed his fake Oscar "predictions" and mocked the nominees' lack of diversity with jokes about "the best and the whitest." Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images
After hosting the Academy Awards nine times from 1990 to 2012 (he also opened the 2006 Oscars), it's no secret that Billy Crystal knows how to put on a good show. One of the veteran host's most notable skits took place in 1992. Crystal took the stage wearing a Hannibal Lecter mask because "The Silence of the Lambs" was nominated for seven awards. (The thriller won best picture.) TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
Johnny Carson, the king of late night, hosted the Academy Awards five times between 1979 and 1984. Carson never failed to make the audience laugh. ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images
In 2010, three-time host Steve Martin teamed up with his "It's Complicated" co-star Alec Baldwin. The pair earned laughs with their repartee and told some hilarious, lighthearted jokes at the expense of those present. GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images
The fact that Bob Hope hosted the Academy Awards 14 times is enough to earn him a spot on this list. Whether Hope was hosting or co-hosting, he seemed to receive praise from critics. The Academy honored him with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1960. J. R. Eyerman/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Four-time host Whoopi Goldberg has found plenty of creative ways to open the Oscars, from dressing as the "African Queen" in 1999 to entering from the ceiling in 2002. But it was the 1996 Academy Awards that earned Goldberg, the first African-American woman to host the show, a spot on this list. "So. Didja miss me?" the comedian said as she took the stage. The quip referenced David Letterman's failed attempt at hosting the year before. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
Two-time host Jon Stewart was entertaining as ever when he took the stage in 2008 after the Hollywood writers' strike had come to an end. With best picture nominees such as "There Will Be Blood" and "No Country for Old Men" (which won), Stewart joked, "Does this town need a hug?" Referencing another contender, "Juno," Stewart added, "All I can say is thank God for teen pregnancy." Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Critics blasted David Letterman for his hosting abilities after he told -- and retold -- the same joke over and over again at the 1995 Oscars. The "Late Show" host just didn't know when to quit with his "Oprah, Uma. Uma, Oprah," gag. DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images
Chris Rock learned a valuable lesson from hosting the 2005 Academy Awards: Don't diss Jude Law. While Rock was praised by some critics for being himself, he was also chastised by those who simply couldn't take the joke(s). Kevin Winter/Getty Images
People had high hopes for Chevy Chase in 1988 after Chase co-hosted the ceremony the year before with Goldie Hawn and Paul Hogan. However, the comedian sealed his fate the moment he delivered his opening line, "Good evening, Hollywood phonies." Mark Mainz/Getty Images
Three-time host Jerry Lewis had to resort to improvisation when he hosted the 1959 Academy Awards alongside Bob Hope, David Niven, Sir Laurence Olivier, Tony Randall and Mort Sahl. The show ended early, leaving Lewis to fill 20 minutes of airtime by bringing stars on stage and making them dance. GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images
The reviews were mixed for Seth MacFarlane when he hosted the show in 2013. While the ratings were high, there was controversy with some of the jokes and tone. The national director of the Anti-Defamation League, speaking about one skit to the New York Times, said: "It wasn't funny. It was ugly." Kevin Winter/Getty Images