I don't know about you, but when it was announced back in October of 2015 that Chris Rock would be returning to host the 88th Academy Awards show (which goes down this Sunday), I was ecstatic. The Academy had to do something; word is that the 87th Oscars fell 16% in the ratings, and if you remember what Chris Rock did back in 2005, you know that at the very LEAST, we'll get a fire monologue to kick things off.
While many of us remember Chris Rock straight-up slaying his 2005 Oscars monologue, it's interesting to look back at what was actually said, and how these things paralleled to what's going on in Hollywood today. There was no question that Rock would be attacking the #OscarsSoWhite controversy—there's no way you can hire him to host an event and expect to completely stifle his creative process—but many people were excited to hear that he scrapped his old jokes to address the controversy. It's hard to believe that the same man who joked that that having "four black nominees" was akin to it being the "Def Oscar Jam." It gets better, though.
Much of Rock's venom was for, well, Hollywood continuing to put out trash films. He made it a point to highlight that in rewatching some of the films you thought were "magic" when you were a kid were really wack, or as he put it, "Rocky V sucks!" Interesting to see that Sylvester Stallone is still playing Rocky Balboa, and that Creed was a banger (although, you know). Michael Moore, who's Where to Invade Next was shortlisted (but not nominated) for this year's Best Documentary Feature Oscar, had Fahrenheit 9/11 out, and Rock dropped a harsh joke about Moore wishing he'd made Super Size Me, as he'd "done the research." Brutal.
Chris Rock also took Hollywood to task for making movies for black people not having "real names ("Barbershop; that's not a name, that's just a location!"). He caught most of his flack from the public for his shots at Hollywood for being quick to release films with bad actors into theaters. It got heated when Chris Rock basically said Jude Law was getting films because producers couldn't book Tom Cruise, to which Sean Penn got offended by (he even called Law "one of our finest actors" while presenting the best-actress Oscar). For some reason, Time called Rock one of the worst awards show hosts for this appearance, but then spent most of their defense talking about how people got mad at Rock, who they admitted was funny.
Oscars producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin called Chris Rock "the MVP of the entertainment industry," but we already knew that (hell, we've seen him host the 1999 MTV Awards and the 2014 BET Awards). Chris Rock will shine and be fine.