Oscars are the film industry’s most coveted awards. Be it Hollywood or Bollywood, an Oscar award is the ultimate recognition your work can get. Hence this annual ceremony is one of the most important nights for the film fraternity. Started in 1927 by the academy of motion picture arts and sciences, it has grown from a simple ceremony to a highly elaborate affair. Every year, along with the nominees also comes up the name of the host, the most important element of the night. Some of the best and often repeated hosts such as Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Steve Martin have entertained audiences for long. But there have been some, who have inevitably ruined the night:
10. Frank Sinatra
The evergreen and dearly loved musician was just that, a great musician, but unfortunately his hosting skills couldn’t win as many hearts as his melodies could. He had two stints as a host for the Oscars, once in 1963 and in 1975. Both of them were absolute busts. The 1963 academy hosting event was his first and solo event and it almost had to go through without him when a missing sticker on his car caused parking issues. The 1975 event had him co-hosting with Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope and Shirley MacLaine. It was a disaster when he decided to have a mid life crisis with a long speech criticizing the political views and opinions of the honorees.
9. Walter Matthau, Liza Minnelli, Dudley Moore, and Richard Pryor
Walter Matthau, Liza Minnelli, Dudley Moore, and Richard Pryor
The year 1983 saw the star studded night get ruined by not the one but four very distinguished hosts. Walter Matthau, Liza Minnelli, Dudley Moore, and Richard Pryor started out with one of the worst opening songs in the history of the Academy awards. The opening number, ‘It All Comes Down to This’ was written by Buz Kohan, a veteran Oscar show writer. The co-ordination among the hosts was deplorable to say in the least. Liza Minelli carried the entire song, while the obvious lack of practice was obvious among the rest. Walter was singing his own tune, Richard was lost somewhere else and Dudley seemed more intent on walking down the stairs than singing.
8. Ellen DeGeneres
Now it comes as quite a shock to find Ellen DeGeneres on this list considering she makes a living as a talk show host. Humour and presence of mind are but her required skills. Unfortunately she was rather a disappointment for this star studded event in 2007 as a very dull host. To her credit no one was insulted and there were no obscenities, but then there was no excitement or fun either. She was a good host but the night was particularly boring and had no highlights.
7. Robin Williams, Jane Fonda and Alan Alda
Robin Williams, Jane Fonda and Alan Alda
Before the Oscar hosting had become a solo affair, there were multiple hosts. This trio took the reins in 1986, i.e. the 58th academy awards. The hosts didn’t stand upto the mark and were not very well received. It holds the record for being rated the third lowest telecast in the history of Oscars. With no charm and a lack of entertainment, it took all three to ruin a great night.
6. Chevy chase
Chevy Chase as a comedian wasn’t exactly the most liked person, but inspite of that, his sense of humour and charm won people over in the 1987 academy awards alongside Paul Hogan and Goldie Hawn when they hosted together. This made him an excellent choice as the host for 1988, at which he failed miserably right from the very beginning with his opening line, “Good evening, Hollywood phonies.” Now an insult like that wasn’t really going to raise many chuckles from the star studded audience, however tolerant they might be. Since then, the potshots at the critics and the nominees alike was a terrible attempt at entertaining the audiences. Not only were they lackluster but also insulting and personal. Needless to say, he was not the dream host that night, and maybe it was not a co-incidence that 1989 had no host.
5. Chris rock
The 2005 Oscars show saw an attempt to make the night young which is why experienced and revered hosts like Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg were replaced by comedian Chris Rock. You may know him from hilarious performances in movies like Bad Company and Grown Ups. Famous for his acerbic sense of humour and tendency for below the belt jokes, this comedian belted out an event exactly as expected, only it didn’t turn out as good. The jokes were funny and the audience was in splits, but more than a few felt that he took it way too far. His most famous joke was on Jude Law, who had appeared in 6 movies that year and Chris’s comment, “If you want Tom Cruise and all you can get is Jude Law, wait!”, did not sit too well with most actors, especially Sean Penn who came upto the stage and defended Jude Law , while receiving his award. Suggesting that the nominated movies “sucked” was probably not a way to make an awards night memorable.
4. Jerry Lewis
What started out as a bad night for him went onto affect everybody else. Unfortunately for Jerry Lewis, the 1959 academy awards ended early by almost twenty minutes. Though he was a third time host, his presence of mind did not really work him considering the fact that he decided to fill the time by making the stars come on stage and dance on “No business like show business”. Awkward and humiliating, this was not the best stroke of genius that he had and probably ended up ruining a perfectly good awards night.
3. David Letterman
David Letterman’s lack of compering skills was evident during the 1995 Oscar awards ceremony when he ended up repeating the same, not-so-funny joke several times. He started with a wisecrack on Oprah Winfrey and Uma Thurman. He kept introducing these two stars to one another repeatedly!!! The joke was supposed to be the pronunciation of their names which was allegedly funny. The failure of the joke did not daunt him for he went on to make fun of Keanu Reeves’ name too, with maybe not so much of a repetition. The jokes were bad, but the worst part was that he kept going at it, expecting the audience to laugh later because he assumed they didn’t get his sense of humour. The infamous Oprah-Uma joke is now considered a benchmark when it comes to bad jokes and hosts.
2. James Franco and Anne Hathaway
James Franco and Anne Hathaway
Perhaps one of the worst hosts that the Academy awards night has seen by a long shot, there was not even a moment when their jokes were entertaining. Every introduction, every wisecrack and every attempt at being funny simply fell flat on its face. James franco’s bored expression made it seem like he would rather be anywhere but hosting the awards. That coupled with a horrible palette of jokes was a sure shot recipe for disaster. Anne is still credited with trying to be perky and fun but it was obvious to everyone that she was trying too hard. James franco dressed as a drag and Anne in a tuxedo made no sense whatsoever, and if the lack of fun and excitement wasn’t enough, the quality of material made the audiences cringe if not feel distasteful.
1. Seth MacFarlane
Famous for creating the animated series such as Family Guy and the movie Ted, Seth Macfarlane stole the award for being the worst ever show host. Every joke was worse than insulting; it was disgusting. The content made you recoil in disgust and wonder how in the world did it ever get accepted in the first place. He actually sang a song with the names of actresses that have appeared nude in movies called ‘We Saw Your Boobs’. Not only was it extremely offending, it was a distasteful beginning to the ceremony. The rest of his compering was just as cynical and awkward.