Ac­tor-co­me­dian Kevin Hart to host 2019 Academy Awards

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - ENTERTAINMENT -

LOS AN­GE­LES — Kevin Hart has a new job — he will host the 2019 Academy Awards, a role the pro­lific ac­tor-co­me­dian says ful­fills a long­time dream.

Hart an­nounced his se­lec­tion for the 91st Os­cars in an In­sta­gram state­ment Tues­day.

The Academy of Mo­tion Pic­ture Arts and Sciences fol­lowed up with a tweet that wel­comed him “to the fam­ily.”

The an­nounce­ment came hours after trade pub­li­ca­tion The Hol­ly­wood Re­porter posted a story call­ing the Os­cars host po­si­tion “the least wanted job in Hol­ly­wood.”

Hart clearly doesn’t feel that way, writ­ing on In­sta­gram that it has been on his list of dream jobs for years. The 2019 Os­cars will be broad­cast Feb. 24 on ABC.

“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 this stage is un­be­liev­able,” Hart wrote. “I know my mom is smil­ing from ear to ear right now.

“I will be sure to make sure this years Os­cars are a spe­cial one,” Hart wrote.

Hart takes over host­ing du­ties from Jimmy Kim­mel, who presided over the last two cer­e­monies, in­clud­ing 2016’s flub that re­sulted in the wrong best pic­ture win­ner be­ing an­nounced. Last year’s cer­e­mony was an all­time rat­ings low, and the film academy has an­nounced a se­ries of changes to the up­com­ing show.

Those in­clude short­en­ing the broad­cast to three hours, and also pre­sent­ing cer­tain cat­e­gories dur­ing com­mer­cial breaks and broad­cast­ing ex­cerpts of those win­ners’ speeches later in the show.

The 39-year-old Hart has be­come a bank­able star with films such as “Ride Along,” ‘’Ju­manji: Wel­come to the Jun­gle” and “Night School.”

Celebri­ties in­clud­ing Mar­tin Lawrence and Chris Rock, who hosted the cer­e­mony in 2005 and 2016, posted con­grat­u­la­tory mes­sages about Hart’s se­lec­tion Tues­day night.

“Damn I’ve lost an­other job to Kevin Hart,” Rock posted on In­sta­gram, echo­ing a joke he told dur­ing his 2016 open­ing mono­logue. “They got the best per­son for the job.”

JOR­DAN STRAUSS / IN­VI­SION / AP FILE

Kevin Hart ar­rives at the Los An­ge­les pre­miere of “Ju­manji: Wel­come to the Jun­gle” in Los An­ge­les, in De­cem­ber 2017. Hart will host the 2019 Academy Awards.

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