We learned a few weeks ago that Chris Rock would not be returning to host this year's Oscar telecast and today the other shoe dropped: show producer Gil Cates announced comedian, author and Daily Show major-domo Jon Stewart will host the 78th Academy Awards telecast, his first such stint.
Academy President Sid Ganis echoed Cates' enthusiasm. "I'm very excited," he said. "Stewart is a superb choice — witty, current, intelligent and charming. What a terrific addition to our roster of great hosts!"
The host of Comedy Central’s multiple Emmy- and Peabody-winning The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Stewart has transformed The Daily Show into an institution that parodies while it informs.
Stewart and the writers of The Daily Show also authored America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction at the end of 2004. The book, which was recently awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor, was a staple on The New York Times best sellers list for 46 consecutive weeks, including 15 consecutive weeks in the No. 1 position.
"As a performer, I’m truly honored to be hosting the show," said Stewart. "Although, as an avid watcher of the Oscars, I can’t help but be a little disappointed with the choice. It appears to be another sad attempt to smoke out Billy Crystal."
Stewart has also appeared in several motion pictures, including Death to Smoochy, Big Daddy, The Faculty and Playing by Heart.
Prior to taking over The Daily Show in 1999, Stewart's television credits included a one-hour HBO comedy special, Jon Stewart: Unleavened, a recurring role as himself on HBO’s series-within-a-series, The Larry Sanders Show, and he hosted The Jon Stewart Show on MTV, which went on to be unsuccessfully nationally syndicated.
In October of '04, Stewart made news when he attacked CNN's Crossfire as destructive faux-debate in the least diplomatic terms, even calling Tucker Carlson a "dick." Stewart's aura grew when CNN announced in January '05 that it was killing Crossfire.
The ceremonies honoring 2005 achievements in motion pictures will be held on Sunday, March 5, 2006. The 78th Annual Academy Awards Presentation will be broadcast live from the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland by the ABC Television Network, beginning at 5:00 p.m. PST.