It's Official: Chris Rock to Host Oscars

Chris Rock BET Awards - H 2014
AP Images/Invision

Chris Rock BET Awards - H 2014

The 88th Oscars will be held on Feb. 28.

Comedian Chris Rock will host the 88th Academy Awards.

The 2016 Oscars, which will be held on Feb. 28, are being produced by Reginald Hudlin and David Hill.

Rock is no stranger to the Oscar stage; the comedian hosted the 77th Oscars in 2005.

"Chris may be best known as a stand-up comic, but we think of him as a creative innovator in many other ways. He is unafraid in his artistry," Academy CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement. "We couldn’t be happier to welcome him back to the Oscars."

When talking earlier in September about finding the right host, Hill said, "Don’t forget that the movies that are going to shape the show, a lot are going to come out between September and December. So we don’t know what shape the show is going to take. The show has got to develop organically."

Rock's first foray as Oscar host did provoke some controversy after he made a joke at Jude Law's expense that triggered a response from Sean Penn later in the evening.
Last year's host, Neil Patrick Harris, said Rock was the right person for the job. 

Hudlin and Rock previously teamed up on the 2005 sitcom Everybody Hates Chris, based on Rock's teenage years. Hudlin directed the pilot for the show, which Rock created with Ali LeRoi. Rock most recently wrote, directed and starred in Top Five, which hit theaters in December of 2015. On the TV side, he recently guest-starred on Fox's hit Empire and directed Amy Schumer's HBO special.

"Chris Rock is a comedic powerhouse who will bring tremendous energy to the event, and we’re honored to have him," Paul Lee, ABC Entertainment Group president, said in a statement. 

Hill has multiple goals for the show, one being: "To make sure the show gets off the air when it’s supposed to get off the air. I’ve always prided myself on getting my shows off on time, and I don’t see why this one should be any different."