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Academy Award Hosts and Talk Show Hosts: One in the Same


If you grew up in the late 1970s and loved the Academy Awards, you'll fondly remember its regular host: Johnny Carson. Carson, then (and always) the king of late night television, became the first talk show host to host the Oscars 1979 - but he wouldn't be the last. His five stints set the stage for talk show hosts to emcee the show on-and-off since that time. And their appearances tend to be the most popular.

Here's a list of talk show hosts who have hosted the Academy Awards. Who was your favorite:

1. Johnny Carson

Carson first emceed the Academy Awards in 1978. He was the first talk show host to do so, taking over for comedian Bob Hope, who had hosted the Oscars more than anyone else: 18 times. Carson would become the Oscars' regular host through 1981 before taking a one year break. He'd return for the last time in 1983.

2. Chevy Chase

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When Chevy Chase first co-hosted the Awards in 1986 with Goldie Hawn and Paul Hogan, he was best known for his comedy hits, National Lampoon’s Vacation and Fletch. It wasn’t until 1993 that Chase tried his hand at being a talk show host – and effort that crashed and burned and, some say, tarnished Chase’s image for years. Today Chase is back in the spotlight, with a starring role on the hit NBC sitcom Community and a role in the buzzworthy 80s throw-back comedy film Hot Tub Time Machine. Chase also hosted in 1987.

3. Whoopi Goldberg


Like Chase, was a hot ticket at the box office in 1993 when she took her first turn as host of the Oscars. The film Sister Act and its sequel were blockbusters and she was a fixture on the hit sci-fi TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation. Today she is the successful co-host of The View. Goldberg hosted four times altogether: 1993, 1995, 1998 and 2001.

4. David Letterman

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Perhaps with visions of Carson's successful years as Oscar host, the Academy selected the new king of late night, David Letterman, to host the award show in 1994. It was a less than stellar outing - at least if you ask Letterman. It did produce one of the most memorable and often quoted jokes: Letterman's introduction of Oprah Winfrey and actress Uma Thurman. "Uma? Oprah. Oprah? Uma."

5. Jon Stewart

Getty Images/Brendan Hoffman

Daily Show host Jon Stewart stepped up to the podium in 2005. He received a warm welcome and decent reviews. Like Letterman, Stewart downplays his success on the show - but he was good enough to be asked back in 2007.

6. Ellen DeGeneres

Getty Images/Ethan Miller

The Ellen DeGeneres Show was only three years old when its host was asked to host The Academy Awards. DeGeneres, an actress and comedian, jumped at the chance. The gig made her the first openly gay host of the program. She received such rave reviews her performance was nominated for an Emmy.

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