5 reasons Kevin Hart is an obvious choice for Oscars host

By Bethonie Butler

Kevin Hart's comedy makes him a go-to host for Hollywood award ceremonies. Photo / Invision /AP
Kevin Hart's comedy makes him a go-to host for Hollywood award ceremonies. Photo / Invision /AP

Since at least 2015, Kevin Hart has been letting the universe know that he really wanted to host the Oscars.

"I would just jump at the opportunity," he told the Los Angeles Times.

The following year, he told the New York Times he believed his moment would happen "sooner than later".

Two years later, it has. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Monday that Hart will host the 91st Oscars ceremony in February. The announcement prompted praise from past hosts of the annual telecast.

Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted last year's ceremony, tweeted that the Academy "made an excellent choice" and said Hart would "kill it" as host. Chris Rock echoed a joke from his 2016 Oscars monologue: "Damn I've lost another job to Kevin Hart," he wrote on Instagram. "They got the best person for the job".

Are they right? Here are five reasons Hart is an obvious choice for the gig — and one reason he isn't.

1. He has name recognition
As a comedian, Hart has sold out huge arenas. He's also a huge box office draw.

2. He (really!) wants the job
Hours before the academy announced that Hart would host next year's ceremony, the Hollywood Reporter published an article about the perpetual struggle to land a host for the telecast, which has struggled in recent years to combat declining ratings.

3. He has experience hosting major awards shows
Hart's comedy is known for its energy, which makes him a go-to host for Hollywood award ceremonies that can lag beyond their prime. His past credits have included the 2011 BET Awards and multiple MTV Video Music Awards ceremonies, starting with the 2012 VMAs.

4. Hollywood loves him
Hart will be playing to a friendly crowd at the Dolby Theatre in February.
He memorably parodied his reputation as one of the acting industry's most gregarious members in Real House Husbands of Hollywood, which followed Hart as he navigated Los Angeles' elite social circles with famous friends including Nick Cannon, Duane Martin and J.B. Smoove.

5. He's a fresh face
In recent years, many hosts of the Oscars ceremony — including Kimmel, Rock and Ellen DeGeneres, who hosted in 2007 and again in 2014 — have been repeat choices.

And the one reason he doesn't make sense as next year's Oscars host:
After years marred by controversy — from #OscarsSoWhite to Rock's widely criticised Asian joke at the 2016 ceremony (not to mention the infamous flub that incorrectly announced La La Land as 2017's best picture winner instead of Moonlight), it's a safe bet that the academy will want to avoid controversy at the upcoming ceremony. In that regard, Hart may not be the man for the job.

- Washington Post

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