Ellen DeGeneres To Host 86th Oscars

UPDATED: Ellen DeGeneres just tweeted she will be hosting the Oscars this year. It will be her second stint in the job, after hosting the 2007 ceremony and earning an Emmy nomination for it. “It’s official: I’m hosting the #Oscars! I’d like to thank @TheAcademy, my wife Portia and, oh dear, there goes the orchestra“, the comedian and talk show host said on her Twitter feed just now.

The announcement of DeGeneres as host comes just a couple of days after the election of Cheryl Boone Isaacs, only the third woman to head the Academy in its 86-year history. There are also now 14 women elected to the Board Of Governors, a record number, and a woman —  Dawn Hudson — serves as CEO, so it seems appropiate with the well-publicized efforts to bring diversity in all its forms that a woman should return to host the show. DeGeneres would seem the perfect — and safe — choice to host this year particularly after Seth MacFarlane’s controversial stint for the 85th Oscars, which drew strong ratings but also some criticism especially for his satirical musical number “We Saw Your Boobs” which some saw as offensive to women.

When she first hosted in 2007 it was noted that DeGeneres also became the first openly gay or lesbian host. During the telecast she actually talked about diversity. “What a wonderful night, such diversity in the room, in a year when there’s been so many negative things said about people’s race, religion, and sexual orientation. And I want to put it out there: If there weren’t blacks, Jews and gays, there would be no Oscars, or anyone named Oscar, when you think about that,” she joked.

Related: Look Back: Ellen DeGeneres’ 2007 Oscar Monologue

Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron said they are longtime friends with the star and have been looking for a way to work with her. They obviously found one and kept the news under wraps until the new President was chosen. When I interviewed Boone Isaacs on Wednesday and asked her if she had ideas about the host or when it would be announced, she said she would be meeting with Zadan and Meron later that day to discuss it and their ideas for the show but at that point had no idea what the producers had in store. Things obviously happened quickly after that and the Academy moved to get the announcement out even as DeGeneres is on vacation according to one source I spoke with inside the Academy. “I agreed with Craig and Neil immediately that Ellen is the ideal host for this year’s show,” said Boone Isaacs in the Academy’s official release issued a few minutes after Ellen first tweeted the news.

Of course DeGeneres, a double-digit Emmy winner, was also nominated for an Emmy for her Oscar-hosting stint in the now-defunct category of Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program. She also famously hosted the Emmys in November 2001 after the show was canceled twice in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy. She returned to host the Emmys in 2005, just three weeks after Hurricane Katrina. She also hosted the Grammys  in 1996 and 1997.

Here’s the Academy’s official release:

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – Television icon Ellen DeGeneres will return to host the Oscars® for a second time, producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Academy Awards® will be broadcast live on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014, on the ABC Television Network.

“We are thrilled to have Ellen DeGeneres host the Oscars,” said Zadan and Meron. “As a longtime friend, we had always hoped to find a project for us to do together and nothing could be more exciting than teaming up to do the Oscars. There are few stars today who have Ellen’s gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity. She is beloved everywhere and we expect that the audience at the Dolby Theatre, and in homes around the globe, will be as excited by this news as we are.”

“I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time. You know what they say – the third time’s the charm,” said DeGeneres.

“I agreed with Craig and Neil immediately that Ellen is the ideal host for this year’s show,” said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy President. “We’re looking forward to an entertaining, engaging and fun show.”

“Ellen is talented, wonderfully spontaneous, and knows how to entertain a worldwide audience,” said Dawn Hudson, Academy CEO. “She’s a big fan of the Oscars; we’re huge fans of hers. It’s a perfect match.”

“It is an honor to welcome back Ellen DeGeneres as the host of the biggest entertainment celebration of the year,” said Paul Lee, president, ABC Entertainment Group. “She is the consummate entertainer, equally beloved by her peers in the industry, movie fans and television viewers. We very much look forward to having her back on ABC for Oscar Sunday.”

DeGeneres hosted the 79th Academy Awards in 2007, for which she received a Primetime Emmy® nomination for “Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.”

DeGeneres has made a home for herself in daytime with her hit syndicated talk show, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” which has earned a total of 45 Daytime Emmys during its 10 seasons.

DeGeneres’ began her career as an emcee at a local comedy club in her hometown of New Orleans. Her acting career in television included roles in several successful sitcoms before being offered a part on “These Friends of Mine” by ABC. After the first season, the show was renamed “Ellen.” Running from 1994 to 1998, the show garnered record ratings, with DeGeneres receiving Emmy nominations each season in the Best Actress category. In 1997, DeGeneres was the recipient of the coveted Peabody Award as well as earning an Emmy for writing the critically acclaimed “Puppy Episode” when her character came out as a gay woman to a record 46 million viewers.

DeGeneres has also been successful in her feature film work. DeGeneres scored unprecedented popular and critical response to her character, Dory, the fish with extreme short-term memory, in the blockbuster Pixar animated feature “Finding Nemo.” DeGeneres recently announced the highly anticipated sequel to “Finding Nemo,” Disney-Pixar’s “Finding Dory,” currently scheduled to be released in November 2015.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar® Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.





I have it on good authority it is all true. DEVELOPING.

  1. her we go — all the lesbian jokes – yuk – another ceremony where i only listen to the winners called

    1. I doubt she’s going to make lesbian jokes. But I’m sure you can’t watch the show now when a lesbian is hosting.

  2. Good to hear! I thought she was delightful the first time she hosted. One of my favorite host moments in the last few years was when she did a mid-show clean up and started vacuuming the front row.

    1. If you decry something like this, as many of us do, then why actually troll for the reaction you profess by implication to dislike?

    2. The only person who has spewed hate on this threat so far is you. Speaks volumes about your character, your prejudices, and your tolerance (or lack thereof).

    3. I am a conservative and I like Ellen a lot. I cant stay up to watch the entire Oscar show these days but I think she is a very good choice. She’s quick when it calls for improv, self-depracating, and has a good sense of what needs to be taken seriously and when to go for the laugh. Just what the host of a long, personality filled show needs to be.

    4. As the officially nominated spokesman for everyone on the right, let me assure you that we don’t care that Ellen is a lesbian. Some of us simply don’t find her all that funny. Anne Hathaway, a lovely heterosexual woman, was also not funny when she co-hosted the Oscars. So you see, we on the right are quite equal-opportunity in our identification of the over-rated and unfunny in our business and yes, in life itself.
      You’re welcome.

  3. I thought Seth MacFarlane was the best host in ages, but I know his humor is too young and hip for the stodgy Academy and 99% of the old humorless farts who watch the Oscars (I bet they didn’t think “Ted” was funny either). As far as safe goes, Ellen is the best choice. She’s completely likable, and genuinely funny.

    1. I know a lot of men in the industry think misogyny is great entertainment and will use this importunity to vent more hate towards women. Last years show was a perfect example of that. Ellen is a great choice because she’s talented, smart, funny and engaging. McFarland is talented but his deep sexism is sad and that fact Craig and Neil are so frigging clueless to what that means is pretty pathetic. Their morning after defense of the show was a new low for them. It must be nice to live in a bubble.

  4. A fine choice. She did a good job the first time. Not spectacular, but when was the last time there was truly a spectacular host?

  5. She was beyond dull last time. Terrible choice, ratings will fall this year. The male demos in particular will collapse

    1. The last time she hosted the ratings went up. 40 million viewers. And that movie year was really boring. “The Departed” was the only actual blockbuster that was nominated.

    1. Just for the record, although I still won’t watch the show, I think she’s is a fine choice.

  6. Really wish they got Seth to come back. Best host in YEARS!!! and this is coming from someone who has been watching the Oscars for over 17 years

      1. cadavra,

        Stereotype much? I’m one of those conservative “haters” to which you so charmingly refer. You know absolutely nothing about me, so do us all a favor and try being as understanding and tolerant as you claim to be.

    1. Greg, YOU are the one trafficking in hatred here. You’re not being victimized. You are just a pissed-off bully who’s not getting his way. I’d get used to it if I were you.

    2. Ellen doesn’t hate you. It’s a shame that you hate her. There’s no reason for you to hate her. Grow up.

  7. Well Ellen loves to dance , so I am sure Zadan and Meron will work that into the show.

    It is easy to throw stones at the Oscars, but to be fair, I am not sure what can be done to liven it up. It is what it is. A long and boring show sprinkled with highlights including some of the acceptance speeches. Unless they can find another Johnny Carson, the host job will probably never be done as well again.

  8. Was Ellen funny the last time she hosted? I truly don’t remember. I know she’s cute as a button and lovable. Why all the hate for Seth? Comedy is supposed to be offensive.

  9. I didn’t like her the first time she hosted and worst of all she wore a red velvet pants suit which is not proper Oscar attire.

  10. I bet you a dollar to a donut that she opens with we saw your boobs or some sort of variation. She’s going to send up MacFarlane big time.

  11. Whatever. Nothing will save Oscars from boringness. They tried. So many famous actors or comics were invited to make Oscar funny and interesting. And still fail every year. Seth MacFarlane was the only one who was semi-funny. No matter what critics say – he was funny.

    Ellen will not save Oscar. There still will be unfunny idiotic jokes, that host will pronounce them as if they are superfunny or clever, that Hollywood public will politely laugh and pretend that they are funny and viewers at home will be sitting bored and waiting till it will be over.

    Why is it so hard for them to hire good scriptwriters that will write funny jokes?

  12. When will the academy realize that Neil Patrick Harris is the perfect host for the Oscars. He’s more than qualified and it would be extremely entertaining.

    1. I don’t think he would be funny. He can dance, say some silly cheesy stuff on Oscar stage. Like Hugh Jackman. But it won’t be funny.

      Those awards need people like Ricky, Seth, Amy or Tina. The ones who don’t afraid of anyone and can make risky jokes. All those hosts of Oscars (except Seth) are too afraid to offend any of those Hollywood royalty. So all their jokes are usually childish and silly and ridiculous. And most important – never funny.

  13. I wonder if she will use the same joke she keeps using over and over again at every award ceremony she hosts. Backstage talking to the Producers and trying material out on them. Boring, as she will be again. Yawn.

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