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Actor and comedian Chris Rock will return Feb. 28 for his second time hosting the Oscars.
Rock last hosted the 77th Academy Awards in 2005, when awards favorites included The Aviator, Ray and Million Dollar Baby. This year, however, he’s called the show “the white BET awards,” after the four acting categories shut out all nonwhite actors from the race, spurring the #OscarsSoWhite boycott.
The year Rock hosted, however, two of the four acting awards went to African-American performers. Jamie Foxx took home the best actor nod for his role in Ray, and Morgan Freeman won best supporting actor for Million Dollar Baby. So with this year’s list of nominees, his hosting might feel a bit different, as Rock is not a comedian to pull punches.
In 2005, he kicked off his monologue with a comment about the black nominees that year. “It’s a great night tonight, we have four black nominees tonight,” he said. “It’s kind of like the Def Oscar Jam.”
In that monologue, he took shots at Jude Law, Tobey Maguire, Nicole Kidman, Michael Moore and, of course, George W. Bush. Below are a few of the more memorable jabs.
Jude Law, Tobey Maguire:
“Clint Eastwood is a star, OK? Tobey Maguire is just a boy in tights. You want Tom Cruise and all you can get is Jude Law? Who is Jude Law? Why is he in every movie I have seen the last four years? He’s in everything.” Law was prolific that year, with roles in The Aviator, Cold Mountain, I Heart Huckabees and Alfie. “He’s in everything. He’s gay, he’s straight, he’s American, he’s British – next year, he’s playing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in a movie.” Sean Penn, presenting later that night, even made a point to respond to Rock, defending Law and his work.
“There’s no acting at the Oscars,” Rock said. “The only acting you ever see at the Oscars is when people act like they’re not mad they lost. I remember one year when Halle Berry won the Oscar, Nicole Kidman was smiling so wide, she should have won an Emmy at the Oscars for her great performance.” Kidman was nominated that year for Moulin Rouge! and lost to Berry in Monster’s Ball.
Rock commended documentarian Moore for Fahrenheit 9/11, his takedown of the Bush administration, before taking a quick hit at the filmmaker for his appearance. “Michael Moore did not get nominated for an Oscar. Right now, Michael Moore’s going, ‘I should have just made Supersize Me. I’ve done the research!’”
George W. Bush:
Rock’s Fahrenheit 9/11 material didn’t stop there. “I think Bush did some things this year nobody in this room could do,” he said. The Oscars aired just months after Bush won re-election. “Bush basically reapplied for his job this year. Now, could you imagine applying for a job, and while you’re applying for that job, there’s a movie in every theater in the country that shows how much you suck at that job? It’d be hard to get hired, wouldn’t it?”
“When Bush got into office they had a surplus of money. Now there’s a $70 trillion deficit. Now, just imagine you worked at the Gap. You’re closing out your register and it’s $70 trillion short. The average person would get in trouble for something like that, right? Not Bush, no. Then he started a war!”
Every Nominated Movie:
Later in the night, Rock aired an off-site bit where he interviewed movie fans about the real movies they went to see that year. “You often hear that Hollywood is out of touch with the rest of the country,” he said, introducing the video. “So I decided to get out of Hollywood and talk to regular people about the movies.”
Rock asked black moviegoers at the Magic Johnson movie theater what movies they had enjoyed that year — not a single Oscar nominee was among them. But White Chicks was a big favorite.
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