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Updated: Sun, 23 Feb 2014 20:45:00 GMT
The Academy Awards' best and worst ever hosts

Johnny Carson



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Hosted: five times (1978-1981, 1983)
Carson had an extraordinarily healthy ego, one that didn’t require strokes from the outside world. He was a star, and elusive in his way, but always very human. The Oscars were important to us, and he understood that, but he never took it too seriously. He knew how to mock his Hollywood brethren (“I see a lot of new faces, especially on the old faces”) in a style that was both wicked and gentle. His wit was remarkably self-deprecating, but never whiny or snotty. Here’s how he summed up 1983: “My personal life has been exactly like this year’s Academy Awards. It started off with 'Terms of Endearment,' I thought I had 'The Right Stuff,' it cost a lot to dress her ['The Dresser'], then came 'The Big Chill,' and the past month, I’ve been begging for 'Tender Mercies.'”

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