2023 Academy Awards: Who are the worst Oscars hosts of all time?
It is safe to say that the cinema awards ceremony has had its fair share of awful hosts over its 94 year history.
The Oscars have had myriad hosts over its near-century run. Though the role is important for the awards it has never become as central to the discourse as it did for the 2022 edition. Host Chris Rock was sensationally assaulted by Will Smith in reaction to a joke. Rock will not be returning to host the Oscars ceremony this year but a familiar face will
Jimmy Kimmel will step up the plate with 2023 being his third time hosting the Oscars.
However, not all hosts have been met with quite as much acclaim. Here are two of the most derided Oscar hosting gigs ever.
Anne Hathaway and James Franco: 2011
James Franco and Anne Hathaway co-hosted the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony in 2011, and their performance was met with mixed reviews. While some people appreciated the effort to have a younger and more diverse hosting duo, compared to the year prior with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, others felt that their chemistry was lacking and that they were not well-suited for the task.
Franco seemed disinterested and distracted and some viewers thought that he may have been under the influence of something during the show. For her part, Hathaway was seen as overcompensating for Franco’s lack of energy and her efforts to keep the show moving forward sometimes fell flat.
“It was like the world’s most uncomfortable blind date between the cool rocker stoner kid and the adorable theater camp cheerleader,” said David Wild, a member of the writing team for the occasion.
L.A. Weekly commented that the night was “at best qualified as lazy, and at worst, totally embarrassing.”
Seth MacFarlane: 2013
Seth MacFarlane hosted the 85th Academy Awards and his performance was widely criticized for its edgy and often offensive humor. While some viewers appreciated his irreverent style and musical numbers, others felt that he went too far with some of his jokes and skits.
A number of jokes were seen as sexist, such as a musical number titled “We Saw Your Boobs” that picked out actresses in the audience that had been naked in films.
Viewers felt that MacFarlane’s hosting overshadowed the actual awards ceremony, and that he was more focused on promoting his own work than celebrating the achievements of the nominees, including a skit of his character Ted.
“It all added up to a spectacularly depressing night and one which was about as far from the warmth and wit of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey’s double-act at last month’s Golden Globes as can be imagined,” said The Guardian’s Sarah Hughes at the time.