Chris Rock will host next year’s 88th Academy Awards ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Scienes confirmed Tuesday.
“Chris Rock is truly the MVP of the entertainment industry,” producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin said in a statement. “Comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, documentarian – he’s done it all. He’s going to be a phenomenal Oscar host!”
Said Rock: “I’m so glad to be hosting the Oscars. It’s great to be back.” The Oscars air Feb. 28 on ABC.
It will be the second time the 50-year-old comedian has hosted the Oscars, after hosting the show a decade ago.
Back in 2005 his hosting stint was deemed beyond the pale by many critics, largely due to his jokes about “The Passion of the Christ” and Jude Law.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (which is yet to confirm the news of Rock’s appointment) may be looking for an edgier host for next year’s show; a weak turn by Neil Patrick Harris heading the 2015 ceremony was blamed for a 16% drop in live telecast TV ratings.
Regarded as one of the greatest stand-up comedians of all time, Rock came to prominence during his time on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” in the early ’90s, and has since starred in films and TV, in addition to producing TV shows and HBO specials. Most recently, he directed “Amy Schumer: Live from The Apollo.”