Since the very first Academy Awards ceremony—years before they were even called "Oscars"—earning an Academy Award was considered quite prestigious. But the ceremonies weren't always as full of glitz and glamor as we are used to these days; the very first ceremony was held in a hotel ballroom and lasted only about 15 minutes, since all the winners had been announced three months in advance.
Academy Awards Ceremony Milestones
1938: The 10th Academy Awards are postponed by one week due to mudslides and flooding caused by torrential rain in Los Angeles.
1941: In the very early years winners were publicly announced ahead of time, and until 1940 the names of the winners were released to the press the previous day for later publication. In 1940 the Los Angeles Times had printed the list early, leading all the stars to know in advance whether they had won. To prevent a repeat of this fiasco, the tabulation of nominees and winners was handed over to PriceWaterhouse and the "sealed envelope" process was devised. Henceforth no one but the accountants who hand-counted the ballots would know the results until the envelopes were opened at the ceremony.
1945: Statuettes were made of plaster rather than bronze, which was needed for the war effort.
1953: The awards are televised for the first time.
1966: The Oscar telecast is broadcast in color for the first time.
1968: The awards ceremony had been postponed from Monday out of respect for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who had just been assassinated.
1974: Who says the Oscars aren't hip? In 1974 the latest fad was streaking. Early in the 1973 Oscars ceremony (held in April 1974) as David Niven was introducing Elizabeth Taylor, a streaker named Robert Opel ran naked across the stage and flashed a peace sign at the audience. (By lucky coincidence the TV cameras were zoomed in on Niven and viewers at home saw only Opel's neck down to just above his waist.) Niven barely missed a beat, assuaging the awkwardness by quipping, "Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was almost bound to happen... But isn't it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?"
1981: The awards ceremony had been postponed for 24 hours because of the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.
2002: The longest Oscar ceremony in history clocking in at 256 minutes. (That's almost four and a half hours, yikes!) This would lead to stricter enforcement of the time limits for speeches, creation of the backstage "Thank You Cam," and even prizes being awarded for the shortest speech.
2005: In recognition of recent awards-show expletives and other incidents on live TV (remember Janet Jackson's Super Bowl "wardrobe malfunction"?), and because normally foul-mouthed comedian Chris Rock was set to host the ceremony, the Oscar telecast was broadcast on a seven-second delay for the first time.
|88th||2015||Chris Rock||2/28/2015||Dolby Theatre|
|87th||2014||Neil Patrick Harris||2/22/2015|
|84th||2011||Billy Crystal||2/26/2012||Hollywood and Highland Center|
|83rd||2010||James Franco and Anne Hathaway||2/27/2011||Kodak Theatre|
|82nd||2009||Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin||3/7/2010|
|73rd||2000||Steve Martin||3/25/2001||Shrine Auditorium|
|71st||1998||Whoopi Goldberg||3/21/1999||Dorothy Chandler Pavilion|
|70th||1997||Billy Crystal||3/23/1998||Shrine Auditorium|
|68th||1995||Whoopi Goldberg||3/25/1996||Dorothy Chandler Pavilion|
|67th||1994||David Letterman||3/27/1995||Shrine Auditorium|
|66th||1993||Whoopi Goldberg||3/21/1994||Dorothy Chandler Pavilion|
|63rd||1990||Billy Crystal||3/25/1991||Shrine Auditorium|
|62nd||1989||Billy Crystal||3/26/1990||Dorothy Chandler Pavilion|
|61st||1988||No Official Host||4/29/1989||Shrine Auditorium|
|59th||1986||Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn and Paul Hogan||3/31/87||Dorothy Chandler Pavilion|
|58th||1985||Alan Alda, Jane Fonda and Robin Williams||3/24/1986|
|55th||1982||Liza Minnelli, Dudley Moore, Richard Pryor and Walter Matthau||4/11/1983|
|49th||1976||Warren Beatty, Ellen Burstyn, Jane Fonda and Richard Pryor||3/28/1977|
|48th||1975||Goldie Hawn, Gene Kelly, Walter Matthau, George Segal and Robert Shaw||3/29/1976|
|47th||1974||Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, Shirley MacLaine and Frank Sinatra||4/8/1975|
|46th||1973||John Huston, Burt Reynolds, David Niven, and Diana Ross||4/2/1974|
|45th||1972||Carol Burnett, Michael Caine, Charlton Heston, and Rock Hudson||3/27/1973|
|44th||1971||Helen Hayes, Alan King, Sammy Davis Jr. and Jack Lemmon||4/10/1972|
|43rd||1970||No Official Host||4/15/1971|
|42nd||1969||No Official Host||4/7/1970|
|41st||1968||No Official Host||4/14/1969|
|40th||1967||Bob Hope||4/10/1968||Santa Monica Civic Auditorium|
|32nd||1959||Bob Hope||4/4/1960||RKO Pantages Theatre|
|31st||1958||Bob Hope, Tony Randall, Mort Sahl, David Niven, Sir Laurence Olivier, and Jerry Lewis||4/6/1959|
|30th||1957||Bob Hope, David Niven, James Stewart, Jack Lemmon, and Rosalind Russell||3/26/1958|
|29th||1956||Jerry Lewis and Celeste Holm||3/27/1957|
|28th||1955||Jerry Lewis, Claudette Colbert and Joseph L. Mankiewicz||3/21/1956|
|27th||1954||Bob Hope and Thelma Ritter||3/30/1955|
|26th||1953||Donald O'Connor and Frederic March||3/25/1954|
|25th||1952||Bob Hope and Conrad Nagel||3/19/1953|
|21st||1948||Robert Montgomery||3/24/1949||The Academy Theater|
|20th||1947||No Official Host||3/20/1948||Shrine Auditorium|
|18th||1945||Bob Hope and James Stewart||3/7/1946||Grauman’s Chinese Theater|
|17th||1944||Bob Hope and John Cromwell||3/15/1945|
|15th||1942||Bob Hope||3/4/1943||Cocoanut Grove, The Ambassador Hotel|
|14th||1941||No Official Host||2/26/1942||Biltmore Bowl, Biltmore Hotel|
|12th||1939||Bob Hope||2/29/1940||Cocoanut Grove, The Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles|
|11th||1938||No Official Host||2/23/1939||Biltmore Hotel|
|7th||1934||Irwin S. Cobb||2/27/1935|
|6th||1932/33||Will Rogers||3/16/1934||The Ambassador Hotel|
|4th||1930/31||Lawrence Grant||11/10/1931||Biltmore Hotel|
|3rd||1929/30||Conrad Nagel||11/5/1930||The Ambassador Hotel|
|2nd||1928/29||William C. deMille||4/3/1930|
|1st||1927/28||Douglas Fairbanks and William C. deMille||5/16/1929||Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel|
Multiple Hosting Stints
The following performers have hosted the Academy Awards more than once (some folks were never so lucky)!
- Bob Hope — 19 times (between 1940 and 1978)
- Billy Crystal — 9 times (between 1990 and 2012)
- Johnny Carson — 5 times (between 1979 and 1984)
- Whoopi Goldberg — 4 times
- Jack Lemmon — 4 times
- Jerry Lewis — 3 times
- Steve Martin — 3 times
- Conrad Nagel — 3 times
- David Niven — 3 times
- Jack Benny — 2 times
- Chevy Chase — 2 times
- Sammy Davis Jr. — 2 times
- Ellen DeGeneres — 2 times
- Jane Fonda — 2 times
- Goldie Hawn — 2 times
- Walter Matthau — 2 times
- Richard Pryor — 2 times
- Chris Rock — 2 times (11 years apart)
- Frank Sinatra — 2 times (12 years apart)
- James Stewart — 2 times (13 years apart)
- Jon Stewart — 2 times
The following performers have been nominated for Oscars in the same year they hosted the ceremony.
- David Niven — Best Actor, Separate Tables (1958) [w]
- Michael Caine — Best Actor, Sleuth (1972)
- Walter Matthau — Best Actor, The Sunshine Boys (1975)
- Paul Hogan — Best Original Screenplay, "Crocodile" Dundee (1986)
- James Franco — Best Actor, 127 Hours (2010)
- Seth MacFarlane — Best Original Song, Ted (2012)