HOLLYWOOD—Actor and comedian Chris Rock is set to host the 88th Academy Awards on Sunday, February 28, 2016 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.
Oscar producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin formally made the announcement on Wednesday, October 21 through an Academy Awards press release. Hudlin previously worked with Rock as the pilot director for Rock’s 2005 television series “Everybody Hates Chris.”
“Chris Rock is truly the MVP of the entertainment industry,” said Hill and Hudlin. “Comedian, actor, writer, producer, director, documentarian – he’s done it all. He’s going to be a phenomenal Oscar host!”
Neil Patrick Harris who hosted the 2015 Oscar ceremony took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the new host. He tweeted, “Chris Rock is hosting the #Oscars. Brilliant choice. He’ll be awesome.”
Rock previously held the title of emcee at the 77th Annual Academy Awards ceremony in 2005 in which film critic Roger Ebert praised his performance, saying, “Chris Rock hit a home run with his opening monologue, which was surprisingly pointed, topical, and not shy of controversy. He opened on a high-energy quick-talking note.” There were some critics who didn’t think Rock knocked things out of the park.
Academy CEO Dawn Hudson also expressed his excitement for the new host. “Chris may be best known as a stand-up comic, but we think of him as a creative innovator in many other ways. He is unafraid in his artistry. We couldn’t be happier to welcome him back to the Oscars.”
Rock recently directed the comedy special “Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo,” which premiered October 17 on HBO.
The 2016 Academy Awards will be televised on ABC at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT and will be live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide. Rock previously starred in the movie “Top Five” which received critical acclaim in 2014.