Thursday, October 14, 2004

Rock on, Oscar

This should be interesting: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has hired Chris Rock to host the Oscarcast next year.

Rock's an excellent choice, IMHO. He's sharp, accessible, quick on his feet, and devastatingly funny when he's on. (His mannerisms drive me nuts, but that's probably just a personal taste issue.) He'll be another in the line of Oscar hosts who, though appearing in films, were still better recognized as comics: Bob Hope, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg. (Just a side note: I think Whoopi has done a brilliant job each time she's hosted — immeasurably better than the tepid Steve Martin — and I wish they'd just give her the job indefinitely.)

As viewers of Rock's late, lamented HBO talk show well know, Chris is more than capable of managing the master of ceremonies role. He's also one of the best topical comics working today, in every aspect superior to, say, the smug, self-satisfied Bill Maher.

The network censors will have a panic attack, I'm sure. Rock's standup act occasionally falls into the old trap of thinking profanity is humorous for its own sake, but he knows where the lines are.

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