Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Jon Stewart hosting the Oscars.

Entertainment: At least it is confirmed that the conservative hate will flow every minute of the show, instead bit segments here and there.

The long search for an Oscar host is over, with an official announcement from the academy expected to come early Thursday morning. For the moment no one at AMPAS or involved with the production will confirm it, but word is that the job of hosting the 78th Academy Awards will go to Jon Stewart, the Emmy-winning writer-host of "The Daily Show" and a past host of the Grammy Awards in 2001 and 2002. For the past couple months, Oscar producer Gil Cates' search for an emcee has sometimes seemed to belong under the "Daily Show"-style heading "Indecision 2005." Last year's host, Chris Rock, was not asked back; eight-time host Billy Crystal said he declined an invitation because of his busy schedule. Published reports claimed that negotiations were underway with Whoopi Goldberg and Steve Martin, though those were never confirmed. The 43-year-old Stewart does not have an extensive movie career, an attribute Cates generally prefers in his hosts. He has appeared in a handful of films, few of which were Oscar material: "Death to Smoochy," "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" and "The Office Party," among others. But with the often barbed political humor of his nightly show on Comedy Central, Stewart seems to be a perfect fit for the Oscars in a year that saw the release of a large number of acclaimed movies with political and social leanings, including "Brokeback Mountain," "Good Night, and Good Luck, " "Crash," "Munich," "Syriana" and "The Constant Gardener." Stewart, by the way, was born Jonathan Stewart Liebowitz. He once told "60 Minutes" that he dropped the name Liebowitz because it "sounded too Hollywood." Sorry, Jon. Can't get much more Hollywood than this new gig of yours.

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