Best Jokes From Steve Martin and Chris Rock Oscars 2020 Opening

Although the Academy once again went without a host at this year’s Oscars, the program remains dependent on the familiar structure that a host brings to the telecast. Just ask former Oscar hosts Steve Martin and Chris Rock, who took to the stage tonight with a number of zingers after Janelle Monae brought down the house in her sensational opener.

After joking that being trotted out as presenters rather than hosts was a “demotion,” Martin and Rock skewered the week in politics, with Martin calling back to 2017’s cringe-worthy Moonlight mix-up by saying, “A couple of years ago there was a big disaster here at the Oscars when they accidentally read out the wrong name and it was nobody’s fault, but they guaranteed that this will not happen this year because the Academy has switched to the new Iowa caucus app.”

Their ribbing of the Academy didn’t stop there, however. When Martin commented that something was missing from this year’s nominees for Best Director, Rock quipped, “vaginas,” nodding at the ongoing, much-criticized lack of female nominees in the category.

They also criticized the largely white nominations, with Rock pointing to two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali and saying, “Mahershala has two Oscars. You know what that means when the cops pull him over? Nothing.” Later, spotlighting Cynthia Erivo, the night’s only nominee of color in the acting categories for Harriet, Rock joked, “Cynthia Erivo did so great at hiding black people that the Academy got her to hide all the black nominees!”

They also panned to Jeff Bezos, whose Amazon Studios received one nomination for Les Miserables in the Best International Feature category. Rock joked, “Jeff Bezos is so rich that he got divorced and he’s still the richest man in the world. He saw Marriage Story and thought it was a comedy.”

“Well, we’ve had a great time not hosting tonight,” Martin quipped at the end of their set. Here’s hoping they get invited back next year.

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