There was no host at the 2020 Oscars, but the show did get rolling with a couple of comedians riffing back and forth: Chris Rock and Steve Martin.
Rock, who (along with Martin) had practiced some of his new material the night before the Comedy Store in Hollywood, declared the reason the Academy Awards didn’t have hosts anymore: “Twitter,” he said.
Martin assured people that there would be no “Moonlight” mix-up again, because the academy had moved over to the Iowa Caucus app.
Mahershala Ali is here tonight,” Rock said. “Mahershala has two Oscars. You know what that means when the cops pull him over? Nothing.”
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A few jokes later, after Martin said seeing Brad Pitt was “like looking in a mirror,” Rock noticed Amazon’s Jeff Bezos in the audience.
“He’s got cash. When he writes a check, the bank bounces. Jeff Bezos is so rich, he got divorced and he’s still the richest man in the world. He saw ‘Marriage Story’ and thought it was a comedy,” he said.
Martin declined to add to the Bezos jokes because, he said, “I like getting my packages on time.”
There was one slip of the tongue, however, when Martin mispronounced Cynthia Erivo’s last name as “Ervio.”
Rock quickly said it correctly, then added, “Cynthia did such a great job in ‘Harriet’ hiding black people that the academy got her to hide all the black nominees. Is Eddie Murphy under this stage?”
“Eddie, I loved you in ‘Dolemite,’ ” Martin hollered.