The best, worst and weirdest Oscar hosts of all time

By CNN Staff

Published February 6, 2020

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The Oscars, airing February 9 on ABC, is again without a host this year.

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But here's a look back on the best, the worst and even the weirdest hosts to grace the Oscars stage.

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Best: Bob Hope

With 14 Academy Awards under his belt, Bob Hope is the most prolific host in Oscar history. Whether he was hosting or co-hosting, Hope seemed to always receive praise from critics.


Best: Billy Crystal

Coming up right behind Bob Hope for most times hosting the Academy Awards, Crystal belongs in the Oscar host Hall of Fame. His skit involving a Hannibal Lecter mask is revered to this day.

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Worst: Anne Hathaway and James Franco

Roger Ebert once tweeted that Hathaway and Franco's Oscar performance was "The worst Oscar cast" he'd ever seen. It's pretty hard to recover from that.


Weird: Donald Duck

True story. In 1958, an animated Donald Duck co-hosted the show alongside Jack Lemmon, Rosalind Russell, James Stewart and Bob Hope.

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Best: Whoopi Goldberg

From cascading down from the ceiling in 2002, to stepping out in a showstopping "Moulin Rouge" ensemble, four-time host Whoopi Goldberg knew how to make an entrance.


Best: Neil Patrick Harris

It's wasn't a renowned success, but Neil Patrick Harris tried his best to keep the 2015 Academy Awards full of jokes and, of course, musical numbers.

Best/Worst: Chris Rock

The first time Chris Rock hosted, in 2005, the comedian learned the hard way to not make jokes about Jude Law in front of Sean Penn. However, Rock's second time hosting, in 2016, was a smashing success.

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Worst: David Letterman

Critics blasted the longtime talk show host's performance after he told -- and retold -- the same joke over and over again.


Best: Hugh Jackman

The musical wolverine slayed the crowd when he hosted in 2009. Jackman was high-energy, classy and all-around charming.

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Worst: Seth MacFarlane

Opening the Academy Awards with a song called "We Saw Your Boobs" is certainly a bold move, and unfortunately for MacFarlane it only went downhill from there.

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Best: Ellen DeGeneres

Who could forget the selfie that broke the internet? Ellen's second time hosting the Academy Awards, in 2014, was received as one of the most successful broadcasts in Oscars history.

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