From Ellen DeGeneres to James Franco: See the Most Memorable Oscar Hosts

Anne Hathaway, Seth MacFarlane, and, of course, Ellen DeGeneres!

By Dominic-Madori Davis Feb 22, 2019 12:00 PMTags

The Oscars have had better days when it comes to the hosting department.

After Kevin Hart announced he would no longer be hosting Hollywood's biggest award show of the year, producers found themselves host-less for the first time since 1989. You know, when Rain Man won Best Picture.

Seasoned comedians such as Whoopi Goldberg to established actresses such as Anne Hathaway have all graced the Oscar stage, giving their hands at what is often regarded to as being one of the hardest jobs in show business.

Last year, Jimmy Kimmel hosted the show, returning after the La La Land and Moonlight switch up that left the world stunned. Before that, Chris Rock sold Girl Scout cookies to the audience and Ellen DeGeneres took one of the most iconic selfies of all time.

Yet, despite the wonderful memories the Oscars have given us over the decades, the show has been struggling lately to find a host brave enough to take on Hollywood's biggest night.


Oscars' Most Memorable Acceptance Speeches

Maybe Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will be up for the challenge down the line

Until then, let's take a look at some of the most memorable Oscar hosts of all time in our gallery below

Bob Hope, 1960

The comedian hosted the Oscars a record-breaking 19 times, beginning in 1940 when Gone with The Wind took home Best Picture, to as recently as 1978 when Annie Hall was awarded the big prize. 

Johnny Carson, 1984

The legendary late-night host hosted the show five times, beginning in 1979 when The Deer Hunter won Best Picture. 

Goldie Hawn, 1987

The beloved Hollywood actress dazzled in a black low-cut gown the year she co-hosted the award show with Chevy Chase and Paul Hogan.

David Letterman, 1995

The My Next Guest Needs No Introduction... star hosted the award show the year Robert Zemeckis's Forest Gump won Best Picture. 

Whoopi Goldberg, 2002

The comedian, actress and now The View co-host had some fun while hosting in 2002. She previously hosted the show in 1994, 1996 and 1999.

Steve Martin, 2003

The actor hosted the year that Catherine Zeta-Jones took home the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the musical, Chicago. He also hosted the Oscars in 2001 and in 2010, along with Alec Baldwin.

Jon Stewart, 2006

The former late-night host hosted the show in 2006 and 2008, and received mixed reviews from critics. 

Hugh Jackman, 2009

America's favorite X-Men Wolverine hosted the show the year Slumdog Millionaire won Best Picture. 

Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, 2010

Guess who's back? Martin hosted the show again, this time with 30 Rock star Baldwin.

James Franco & Anne Hathaway, 2011

Perhaps the most memorable Oscar hosting duo goes to this pair. Pop culture fans are still talking about their chemistry—or lack thereof. 

Billy Crystal, 2012

Nine is the number of times the actor has hosted Hollywood's big night. Most recently was 2012 when The Artist became the first silent film to win Best Picture since 1929. 

Seth MacFarlane, 2013

The comedian's hosting job was deemed to be controversial and panned by audiences and critics alike, but MacFarlane states that he was still asked to return as host for the following year. 

Ellen DeGeneres, 2014

The most iconic Oscar host of the 21st Century goes to the daytime talk-show host who not only dressed as a fairy on stage, but also gave pizza out to the audience and took the star-studded selfie that, at the time, became the most liked photo ever on Twitter. She also hosted the Oscars in 2007.

Neil Patrick Harris, 2015

The How I Met Your Mother star has hosted the Tony Awards four times, but decided to change pace, hosting the Oscars the year Birdman won for Best Picture. 

Chris Rock, 2016

The comedian has hosted the show twice, in 2005 and 2016. During his latter gig, he made the show extra memorable by selling girl scout cookies to the audience. 

Jimmy Kimmel, 2018

The late-night host first hosted the Oscars in 2017 and returned in 2018, after the stunning La La Land and Moonlight moment that was seen around the world. 

So what will critics and viewers at home think of an Oscars without a host? We'll all be finding out together when the show airs live this Sunday on ABC. 

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