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Monday, Aug 19, 2019

Oscars 2019: The funniest one-liners (and more) we’ve heard from Academy Awards hosts over the years

Ahead of the 91st Academy Awards tomorrow night, here’s a list of some of the best heard lines and opening speeches on the Oscars stage we’ve heard, watched and laughed along with over the years.

sex-and-relationships Updated: Feb 23, 2019 19:07 IST
Saumya Sharma
Saumya Sharma
Hindustan Times, Delhi
Ellen DeGeneres hosts the Academy Awards in 2014.
Ellen DeGeneres hosts the Academy Awards in 2014.(Oscars/YouTube)

From Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Ellen DeGeneres, Neil Patrick Harris, Chris Rock, and most recently Jimmy Kimmel, who has hosted the last two seasons of the Academy Awards, there’s a lot that’s been said on the Oscars stage and most of it, immensely rib-tickling. While Bob Hope was an Oscars favourite, having hosted 18 shows, Ellen is known to have brought her gentle humour to the Academy Awards. Ellen hosted her first Oscars in 2007, and was nominated for an Emmy Award for her performance.


Ahead of the 91st Academy Awards tomorrow night (Monday morning as per IST), here’s a list of some of the best heard lines and opening speeches on the Oscars stage we’ve heard, watched and laughed along with over the years.


Ellen DeGeneres (2007)

“Most people dream of winning an Academy Award. I had a dream of actually hosting the Academy Awards. Let that be a lesson to you kids out there. Aim lower.”

“Let’s be honest. It’s not that we don’t have time for long speeches. It’s that we don’t have time for boring speeches. If you have nothing interesting to say, I suggest you make something up.”


Ellen DeGeneres (2014)

“Anything could happen tonight! So many possibilities! Possibility number one, 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture. Possibility number two, you’re all racists. And now, please welcome our first white presenter, Anne Hathaway.”


David Letterman (1995)


Neil Patrick Harris (2015)

“Benedict Cumberbatch: it’s not only the most awesome name in show business, it’s also the sound you get when you ask John Travolta to pronounce ‘Ben Affleck’.”

Anne Hathaway and James Franco (2011)

*What a trainwreck. The best joke of the night was James Franco’s hosting effort.”

Seth MacFarlane (2013)

“This (Django Unchained) is a story about a man fighting to get back his woman who has been subjected to unspeakable violence. Or as Chris Brown and Rihanna call it, a date movie.”

Billy Crystal (2012)

“So tonight, enjoy yourselves because nothing can take the sting out of the world’s economic problems like watching millionaires present each other with golden statues.”

Billy Crystal (2004)

“It was 13 years ago when I first hosted the Academy Awards, and things sure have changed since then. George Bush was president, the economy was tanking, and we had just finished a war with Iraq. Yeah, things really have changed.”


Steve Martin (2010)

“Everyone who’s ever worked with Meryl Streep says the same thing: Can that woman act! And, what’s up with all the Hitler memorabilia?”


Steve Martin (2003)

“You know, I’ve just realised that hosting the Oscars for the second time is like making love to a woman for the second time ... I guess.”


Hugh Jackman (2009)

“Everything is being downsized because of the recession. Next year, I’ll be starring in a movie called New Zealand.”

Jon Stewart (2006)

“And right now around the world, we’re being watched by hundreds of millions of people, nearly half of whom are in the process of being adopted by Angelina Jolie. I’m waitlisted.”

Chris Rock (2004)

“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.”


Johnny Carson (1984)


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First Published: Feb 23, 2019 19:05 IST

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