THE best Academy Awards hosts blend timely humor that chides, but doesn’t offend, keeps the often tedious show moving, and is liked by the audience in the theater and at home.

That’s not an easy task – and one that has been called “thankless” by previous hosts.

James Franco and Anne Hathaway at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards in 2011

James Franco and Anne Hathaway at the 83rd Annual Academy Awards in 2011Credit: AFP

Alec Baldwin speaks onstage during the 82nd Annual Academy Awards in 2010

Alec Baldwin speaks onstage during the 82nd Annual Academy Awards in 2010Credit: Getty
The 96th edition of the Oscars will take place on Sunday, March 10, 2024. The event will air live on ABC in more than 200 territories.

Late night star Jimmy Kimmel will play host during this year’s edition – his fourth time behind the podium.

The comedian hosted the 89th edition of the Academy Awards ceremony on February 26, 2017.

Jimmy returned as host for the 90th edition on March 4, 2018, and the 95th edition on March 12, 2023.

As a veteran now of the complexities of the show, the former host of The Man Show previously compared the gig to being the DJ at a wedding.

“You know, the wedding’s not about you, but you’re there to facilitate it and make it fun,” Jimmy said last year. “You have a responsibility to the people for whom this is the biggest day of their lives.”

Jimmy has largely enjoyed positive reviews and feedback for his hosting duties.

These others, not so much.


James and Anne were slammed for having zero chemistry

James and Anne were slammed for having zero chemistryCredit: Getty
There is a reason so many hosts double as stand-up comedians – they know how to work a crowd.

Actors James Franco and Anne Hathaway are talented at their craft, but they are not veterans of the HaHa House.

Helen Mirren gets own Barbie doll complete with mini Oscar
Still, the two were picked to co-host the 2011 awards. It didn’t go well.

In a clip of the pair’s opening monologue, the jokes fall flat and there was no comedic chemistry between the two. The pair’s personalities resonated entirely differently, and audiences barely responded to their humor.

“We got a lot of s**t for it. I probably got more than she did, but she got a lot,” James told New York Magazine in 2016 of the uncomfortable gig.

Neither had hosted the Oscars nor worked together before, but at the time, producers picked them to appeal to younger viewers.


Steve Martin (left) and actor Alec Baldwin didn't gel

Steve Martin (left) and actor Alec Baldwin didn’t gelCredit: AFP

The Oscars didn’t seem to learn any lessons from the failures of the previous year, which also featured a team-up.

This time, actor Alec Baldwin joined comedian Steve Martin to host the event in 2010.

The matchup of the funnyman and accomplished stage veteran ended up creating zero chemistry between the two.

Alec was accused of seeming nervous and uncomfortable trying to keep up with Steve throughout the night.

As for Steve, he was blasted for looking bored as he slogged through the jokes and was forced to carry his partner.

Baldwin seemed nervous and jittery the whole night, and Martin appeared to slog through all of his awkwardly written jokes.


Seth MacFarlane offended with a song about famous boobs

Seth MacFarlane offended with a song about famous boobsCredit: Getty
Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane tried to infuse the 2013 ceremony with his brand of off-beat and often male-centric humor.

By far the most controversial, and unforgettable, moment during his show came right at the top, when he set the normally music-based opening number to his own song parody.

To the audiences shock, Seth broke into a song and dance about the celebs packed in the room who had shown their breasts on camera.

We Saw Your Boobs saw Seth call out a checklist of actresses like Halle Berry and Kate Winslet, pinpointing when they were naked.

Reaction shots from stars like Amy Adams and Charlize Theron hiding their faces echoed the cringe felt at home by many viewers, and the audience seemed to turn on Seth.


Uma and Oprah will never forget when David Letterman hosted

Uma and Oprah will never forget when David Letterman hostedCredit: AFP
Former talk show host David Letterman has never been able to escape his disastrous night as host in 1995.

The comedian’s dry humor appeals to a very select audience. The Oscars crowd was not it.

After quipping his way through some opening jokes, David would create possibly the most memorable show moment – for all the wrong reasons.

Part of his bit seemed to be a fascination with Oprah Winfrey and Uma Thurman.

He spend much of the night trying to playfully introduce each other, with repeated chants of “Oprah. Uma.” and “Uma. Oprah.”

The bit confused the crowd more than entertained, with many quickly tiring of the stretched-out joke.

David, who admitted to perspiring that whole night, said he has never been able to live the moment down.