Jewish Journal

It’s No Joke—Stewart Does Oscars

by Keren Engelberg

March 2, 2006 | 7:00 pm

The new Oscars' host and the latest Jew to take on the role is -- drumroll, please -- Jon Stewart, the comedian and host of Comedy Central's mock news program, "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart." Stewart is the latest in a long line of comedians, including Johnny Carson, Bob Hope, Steve Martin and last year's host, Chris Rock.

It was reported that show producers courted Billy Crystal (an eight-time host and also Jewish) again this year, but he declined because of a competing gig -- his one-man show, "700 Sundays," currently playing in Los Angeles.

"As a performer, I'm truly honored to be hosting the show," Stewart said. "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."

The 43-year-old's comedy show has been a multiple Emmy winner, and his 2004 mock social studies textbook, "America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction," became a best seller and claimed a Thurber Prize for American Humor.

Stewart adds a hipness factor, but told the Associated Press that he plans to tone down his trademark political material for Oscar.

"He's 78; I'm 43. I will defer," he said. "I'm not an anarchist. I'm a comedian."

The 78th annual Academy Awards will air live on ABC, Sunday, March 5, at 5 p.m.


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