Let’s take a breather from talking only about the movies at the Oscars this year, and put the hosts in the spotlight instead. From best to worst, here’s my ranking of the hosts of the last 25 Academy Awards!
It’s pretty easy to put Crystal at the top here. He’s been the second-most frequent host in Oscars history, MCing very entertaining telecasts throughout the ‘90s, including a run of four straight shows from 1990-1993. From the first time he emerged from behind the curtain, Crystal was relaxed and hilarious. Even his recent dud in 2012 doesn’t take away from his status as number one.
The Daily Show host absolutely brought it the two years he ran the show, with the biting wit and neuroticism that makes him so lovable at 11:00 translating perfectly to primetime.
The first woman to host the Oscars by herself, Whoopi brought tons of personality to the proceedings and worked the crowd with the best of them. The only negative about having Whoopi Goldberg MCing is that she slows the pace down on an already long night.
Martin’s self-effacing snark is what’s made him famous, and it led to him hosting the ceremony three times. He’s got all the charm of Billy Crystal with the edge of Jon Stewart, which makes for a winning combination.
I remember Ellen being very watchable, but nothing about her turn at the helm stuck with me. She gains points for being incredibly likeable whatever she’s doing, but she didn’t have the memorable edge that the first four on my list so good.