Chris Rock’s First Oscar Monologue Called Out Diversity Issues, Skewered Hollywood

TheWrap revisits the comedian’s 2005 hosting gig ahead of this year’s Academy Awards. Will past be prologue?

Last Updated: February 27, 2016 @ 7:19 AM

Anticipation is high for Chris Rock‘s Oscar hosting gig this Sunday, specifically for his opening monologue where the comic is expected to address the Academy’s much-discussed diversity issue.

But Rock has been here before. He graced the stage of the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood (then the Kodak) in 2005 and brought his energetic, often mocking brand of magic to the biggest night in showbiz.

An overwhelming amount of white nominees was fodder even 11 years ago, as Rock shouted out that year’s nonwhite honorees.

“We have four black nominees tonight! It’s kind of like the Def Oscar Jam in here tonight,” Rock said, eliciting smiles from the likes of Jamie Foxx and Morgan Freeman.

The “Top Five” star also called out losers and their feigned happiness for Oscar winners.

“The only acting you ever see at the Oscars are when people act like they’re not mad they lost,” he said. “I remember one year when Halle Berry won the Oscar, Nicole Kidman was smiling so wide she should’ve won an Emmy at the Oscars for her incredible performance.”

The monologue also featured an infamous dig at Jude Law. The British actor was riding high on his breakout roles in films like “Cold Mountain,” “Alfie” and “Closer” — and Rock commented that his face was everywhere but he had no idea who Law was.

Interestingly, the joke has been edited out of a video of the monologue featured on the Oscars’ official YouTube page. The Academy did not immediately respond to a request asking if the edit was intentional.

Another takeaway from the 2005 opener was its political focus. Rock made numerous jokes about then-President George W. Bush and Michael Moore‘s non-nominated documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

Timing is perfect for him to take the same aim at the 2016 White House race and the candidates vying for the presidency.

Watch Rock’s (almost) full monologue here. He hosts the 88th annual Academy Awards this Sunday on ABC.


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