It's official: Chris Rock will host the 88th Academy Award ceremony in Feburary 2016.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences confirmed the news on Wednesday, following days of speculation that the funnyman would be returning as the Oscar Master of Ceremonies. Rock last hosted the awards in 2005, to mixed reviews and no notable increase in ratings. But ten years later, the Academy is banking on the talented stand-up comic and movie star to bring in a bigger audience.
Oscar hosting has become one of the more thankless jobs in Hollywood, and those who take the stage often find themselves in the hot seat on the internet the next day. (See: Seth McFarlane in 2013.) Still, Rock's second hosting gig comes at a time when even Hollywood insiders have become more candid about some of the problems in the industry, like a lack of on-screen diversity and studios' increasing reliance and sequels and reboots. The straight-talking, no-nonsense comic can be counted on to tell it like it is, and maybe this time he will be rewarded for it (unlike in 2005, when Rock was criticized for calling the ceremony "idiotic").
The 2016 Academy Award ceremony will air on ABC on February 28.
Photos by Mark Davis / WireImage