Ellen DeGeneres to host the Oscars

August 2, 2013

So long, Seth MacFarlane.

“It’s official: I’m hosting the #Oscars!” DeGeneres tweeted on Friday morning, which was promptly retweeted by the The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. “I’d like to thank @TheAcademy, my wife Portia and, oh dear, there goes the orchestra.”

DeGeneres isn’t new to the gig — she hosted the Oscars once before in 2007. She’s a veteran of the Emmy stage, as she’s been solo host twice (in 2001 and 2005), and co-hosted twice as well.

ABC confirmed the news moments later. “Ellen is the ideal host for this year’s show,” said Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “We’re looking forward to an entertaining, engaging and fun show.”

DeGeneres’ brand of cheery-and-safe humor is a sharp contrast from last year’s awards, hosted by grown up frat boy Seth MacFarlane, creator of “Family Guy.” MacFarlane, who landed the gig on the heels of his smash R-rated film “Ted,” incited fury from some TV critics and viewers, thanks to his crude brand of humor that he showed off during the broadcast.

For example: describing “Django Unchained’ as “the story of a man fighting to get back his woman, who’s been subjected to unspeakable violence — or, as Chris Brown and Rihanna call it, a date movie.” Or, putting on an elaborate chorus number about actresses in nude scenes, entitled “We Saw Your Boobs.”

About 40 million people tuned in to last year’s ceremony, in which “Argo” won best picture, making it the most-watched entertainment program in three years. (When DeGeneres hosted in 2007, approximately 39 million watched “The Departed” take home the top prize.)

But MacFarlane already said back in May that there’s no way he could host the show again, what with being so busy making a sequel to “Ted” and executive producing Fox’s already critically despised comedy “Dads.” Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (also the minds behind NBC’s “Smash”) will produce the ceremony for the second year in a row. The awards will air live on ABC on March 2, 2014.

“There are few stars today who have Ellen’s gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity,” Zadan and Meron said in a statement. “She is beloved everywhere, and we expect that the audience at the Dolby Theater, and in homes around the globe, will be as excited by this news as we are.”

Emily Yahr is an entertainment reporter and pop culture blogger for the Style section. She joined the Post in May 2008, a week before she graduated from the University of Maryland, and worked on Lisa de Moraes' TV Column and blog.
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Emily Yahr | August 2, 2013