The Oscars will have a new host in February – Kevin Hart.
After media reports surfaced Tuesday saying the actor and comedian was in talks to host the 2019 Academy Awards, Hart broke the news himself.
“For years I have been asked if I would ever host the Oscars and my answer was always the same… I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime,” he wrote in a lengthy Instagram post. “I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars.”
Read More: Oscars Shake-Up – Academy Unveils Dramatic Changes to Show
Hart has previously hosted a slate of other awards shows, including the BET Awards and the MTV Video Music Awards. It will be his first time hosting the Oscars.
“I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time,” he added. “To be able to join the legendary list of hosts that have graced that stage is unbelievable.”
View this post on Instagram
For years I have been asked if I would ever Host the Oscars and my answer was always the same…I said that it would be the opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it will happen when it’s suppose to. I am so happy to say that the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars. I am blown away simply because this has been a goal on my list for a long time….To be able to join the legendary list of host that have graced that stage is unbelievable. I know my mom is smiling from ear to ear right now. I want to thank my family/friends/fans for supporting me & riding with me all this time….I will be sure to make this years Oscars a special one. I appreciate the @TheAcademy for the opportunity ….now it’s time to rise to the occasion #Oscars
Hart will follow Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the last two Academy Awards.
While the Night School star welcomes the opportunity, the gig won’t be without pressure.
Keep in mind, the show is long, the audience inside the Dolby Theater is tough, and lately the show has suffered steep ratings declines.
Just this past March, the ratings plummeted to a record-low of 26.5 million viewers, prompting the Academy to make sweeping changes in August.
Those changes included shortening the broadcast to three hours, adding a new “popular film” category geared toward more crowd-pleasing movies and shifting the date of the broadcast earlier in the year.
But just a few weeks later, the Academy scrapped the idea for a popular film category after the plan sparked widespread criticism from industry insiders.
Still, Hart has promised to “make this year’s Oscars a special one.”
The 91st Academy Awards will air Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, on ABC.