Katie: Oscar Hosts Billy Crystal & Whoopi Goldberg Give Hosting Advice


Katie Couric: Past Oscar Hosts

The Academy Awards are one of the biggest nights in television with over one billion people tuning into the catch all the action which makes hosting the awards ceremony one of the most difficult jobs in show business. Even living up to the people who hosted before you can be a challenge. As Billy Crystal told Katie Couric, “the world can be a rough room.”

With Seth MacFarlane hosting the Academy Awards for the first time, he is going to be following up some great hosting performances by Billy Crystal, Frank Sinatra, Whoopi Goldberg, Diana Ross and Bob Hope, who hosted the awards 19 times.


When Katie Couric asked Whoopi who her favorite host was, she didn’t hesitate when she said Bob Hope. She told her she likes it “old school” because all those hosts knew why they were there. They would fool around on the stage, make some jokes and they didn’t have to prove anything to anybody.

Katie: Oscar Hosts Billy Crystal & Whoopi Goldberg Give Hosting Advice

Katie Couric talked with former Oscar hosts Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg about their favorite hosting moments and their advice for new host Seth MacFarlane. (s_bukley / Shutterstock.com)

“Hosting is not for everyone,” said Whoopi. “Not everyone can do this job.”


Katie Couric: Whoopi Goldberg Hosts the Academy Awards

Whoopi has hosted the awards four times and was the first woman to host the awards by herself, but even being the first woman to host wasn’t the scariest part of the night for Whoopi.

“The hardest thing to do is stay in the lines of standards and practices,” said Whoopi who also said it can be a delicate balance to make all the stars laugh at each other without offending anyone.

The Katie Couric Show: Billy Crystal Best Oscar Hosting Moment Ever

Crystal has hosted the Academy Awards nine times and he said it is great having a chance to poke fun at everyone but said you can’t go to far or the audience will turn. His method was always be a little nasty at first and then back off for a little while. And sometimes you don’t even need come up with jokes. They just happen.

Crystal said the time Jack Palance got on stage and did push-ups when he won an Academy Award was like gold to Crystal. He made jokes about Palance the rest of the night. He didn’t even need any other jokes.

Katie: Billy Crystal & Hal Roach

But his favorite moment came when Hal Roach was honored for his contributions to the silent era of movies and was supposed to stand and wave but instead he gave a speech without a microphone. Crystal said it was his favorite Oscar moment of all time.

As for some advice for MacFarlane, Crystal said he just needs to be himself.

“I tell them to look like you want to be there and pretend like you really like the job,” said Crystal. “And just have fun. Shine when you cane and then get out of the way.”


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