5 Rea­sons Kevin Hart is an ob­vi­ous choice for Os­cars host — and the one rea­son he isn’t

The New Zealand Herald - - Entertainment / Timeout - Bethonie But­ler

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.

Photo / In­vi­sion /AP

Kevin Hart’s com­edy makes him a go-to host for Hol­ly­wood award cer­e­monies.

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