Early on Tuesday, a report appeared at the trade publication the Hollywood Reporter that, three months before the February Oscar telecast, the producers of the show were still yet to find a host for the 2019 Academy Awards. The story went on to state that the Oscar hosting gig has become somewhat thankless, as the job doesn’t often let hosts play to their strengths while opening the hosts up to blame for declining TV ratings.
Just hours after that story appeared, the Oscar producers had their man. Kevin Hart, the actor and comedian, was named the host of the 2019 Oscars on Tuesday afternoon, according to NBC News. It will be Hart’s first time hosting the Oscars.
“For years I have been asked if I would ever Host the Oscars and my answer was always the same,” Hart said on his 66 million-follower Instagram account.
“I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it is supposed to. I am so happy to say that the day has finally come from me to host the Oscars. I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time.”
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For years I have been asked if I would ever Host the Oscars and my answer was always the same...I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s suppose to. I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars. I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time....To be able to join the legendary list of host that have graced that stage is unbelievable. I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now. I want to thank my family/friends/fans for supporting me & riding with me all this time....I will be sure to make this years Oscars a special one. I appreciate the @TheAcademy for the opportunity ....now it’s time to rise to the occasion #Oscars
Hart succeeds Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the awards show the last two years. Hart is both a comedian and a movie star, indicating that he will begin the show with a traditional monologue, while also referencing the various actors and actresses present whom he’s worked with in the past. You can also expect lots of height jokes, as more than one Twitter comedian joking that Hart is the first Oscar host who is shorter than the trophy.
It’s unknown whether there was any connection between the Reporter story appearing and Hart being tapped as host later the same day.
In the last year, Hart has starred in such films as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Night School, and his long-delayed film with Bryan Cranston, The Upside, is set for release in January. In 2015, Hart became the first comedian to ever sell out a performance in an NFL stadium, when he performed at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. That show was the basis for the following year’s film, Kevin Hart: What Now?
The 2019 Oscars awards show is set to take place February 24, 2019. Nominations haven’t been announced yet, but A Star is Born, Roma, and Green Book are seen as the most likely contenders for Best Picture and other awards.