“It’s official: I’m hosting the #Oscars!” DeGeneres wrote. “I’d like to thank @TheAcademy, my wife Portia and, oh dear, there goes the orchestra.”
The Emmy-winning syndicated talk show host of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” hosted the 79th ceremony in 2007.
Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron trumpeted their long-standing ties to the popular comedian in a statement Friday.
“We are thrilled to have Ellen DeGeneres host the Oscars,” said Meron and Zadan, who also produced the 2013 Academy Awards. “As a longtime friend, we had always hoped to find a project for us to do together and nothing could be more exciting than teaming up to do the Oscars. There are few stars today who have Ellen’s gift for comedy, with her great warmth and humanity. She is beloved everywhere and we expect the audience at the Dolby Theater, and in homes around the globe, will be as excited by this news as we are.”
The announcement ended months of speculation about who would emcee the broadcast for film achievements, which is seen in more than 200 countries and is set to take place March 2.
Last year’s host, Seth MacFarlane, creator of TV’s animated “Family Guy” series and the blockbuster 2012 comedy “Ted,” divided audiences with his edgy wit and biting sarcasm through such musical skits such as his much-maligned ode to female movie nudity, “We Saw Your Boobs.”
While MacFarlane resulted in bigger ratings, with 40.3 million people tuning in to the broadcast (a 2% uptick over the previous year’s numbers), DeGeneres’ selection for 2014 marks a return to a kinder, gentler Oscars hosting-style, more in line with the broad-based appeal of its 2011 host, Billy Crystal.
DeGeneres boasts a hefty 21 million Twitter followers and the most-watched TV celebrity channel on YouTube. As well, the 55-year old provides the forward face of CoverGirl’s top-selling makeup line.
As host of the 2001 Emmys, which were postponed twice that year after the tragic events of 9/11, DeGeneres demonstrated an ability to remain both comedically biting and emotionally engaged. In an unforgettable bit from that broadcast, she touched upon the prevailing “we can’t let the terrorists win” sentiment in the air as well as well-worn Hollywood tropes befitting a TV award show.
“It’s important for us to be here,” DeGeneres told the audience. “They can’t take away our creativity, our striving for excellence, our joy.” Pausing for a beat, the comedian added: “Only network executives can do that.”
On Friday, Meron tweeted: "welcome back to the oscar stage, ellen...we can't wait to start working with you!"