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Arts and Entertainment

It's Official: Chris Rock Is Returning To Host The Oscars

Chris Rock, yes! (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
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After reports this week that veteran comedian Chris Rock was in serious talks to host the 88th Academy Awards, it's now official: he'll be hosting the Oscars again.

It's Rock's second stint with the Oscars, after hosting the 77th awards show back in 2005. The Oscars' new producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin, the latter of which worked with Rock on the pilot for his TV show Everybody Loves Chris, brought Rock on for the awards telecast, according to Deadline.

"Chris Rock is truly the MVP of the entertainment industry," Hill and Hudlin said in a statement this morning. "Comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, documentarian—he's done it all. He's going to be a phenomenal Oscar host!"

When Rock hosted in 2005, he didn't hold back on his jokes, offending some (especially the actors he skewered) and being heralded by others. Roger Ebert, a fan of Rock's hosting, said:

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Chris Rock hit a home run with his opening monologue, which was surprisingly pointed, topical, and not shy of controversy. He got into politics with a discussion of "Fahrenheit 9/11" and President Bush, made some fairly impolitics remarks about the career highs and lows of other actors, and threw a zinger at Michael Moore: “When he didn't get nominated for 'Fahrenheit,' he probably asked himself, ‘Why didn't I make ‘Super Size Me?’ I've already done the research.”

Not everyone was pleased. When Rock poked fun at the actors, saying most of them were popular people rather than actual stars, he included Jude Law on the list of low-talent actors. Fellow actor Sean Penn defended Law when he got on stage to present an award and said, "Forgive my lack of humor. Jude Law is one of our most talented actors."

However, Hudlin and Hill are firm on the choice they made to make Rock the upcoming Oscars host. (The academy announced on Sept. 1 that they were brought onto the 2016 awards show after ratings dropped by 16 percent when Neil Patrick Harris hosted the 2015 event, Variety reports.) "We want the viewer to have a sense of excitement and a little hint of danger," Hudlin told Deadline. "I think those are good qualities to have in a host. It is a high-wire act obviously and a lot of (potential hosts) are 'I'm not ready for that kind of challenge.' But we think there is an exciting list of possibilities that could kill it."

The 88th Academy Awards will air on Feb. 28 on ABC.