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Jon Stewart Tapped to Host Oscars

Comedian Jon Stewart has taken on another temporary gig this spring. Come March 5, he will be assuming master of ceremony duties for this year's Oscar telecast.

Jon Stewart will host the Oscars [photo: Oscars/Comedy Central]Stewart, 43, is the last in a list of names that have been bandied about since producers of the show announced they were not rehiring last year's host, Chris Rock, whose caustic wit and barbed comments about celebrities in attendance reportedly irritated many in the audience.

Oscar producers originally considered many names, including Billy Crystal, who had hosted the show several times before. But Crystal, who recently had a one-man show on Broadway, said he was unavailable. This week, it was announced that Stewart was their man.

In a press statement, Stewart even joked about Crystal passing on the gig: "As a performer, I'm truly honored to be hosting the show. Although, as an avid watcher of the Oscars, I can't help but be a little disappointed with the choice. It appears to be another sad attempt to smoke out Billy Crystal."

Producer Gil Cates added, "My wife and I watch him every night. Jon is the epitome of a perfect host smart, engaging, irreverent and funny."

It's not the first time Stewart will have hosted an awards show. He's helmed both the 2001 and 2002 Grammy Award telecasts. Stewart himself is no stranger to awards in general, as his Comedy Central show, "The Daily Show" has earned seven Emmys and a Peabody award, while his book, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction, " received the 2005 Thurber Prize for American Humor.

The 78th Annual Academy Awards Presentation will be broadcast live from the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland in Los Angeles on ABC, beginning at 8pm EST/5pm PST on March 5, 2006. For more information, please visit www.oscars.org.


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