Jon Stewart To Host This Year’s Oscars

I’m slightly surprised. I actually thought that Ellen DeGeneres would be chosen, given the fact that she pretty much asked for the job.

The word is that the job of hosting the 78th Academy Awards will go to Jon Stewart, the Emmy-winning writer-host of “The Daily Show” and a past host of the Grammy Awards in 2001 and 2002.

For the past couple months, Oscar producer Gil Cates’ search for an emcee has sometimes seemed to belong under the “Daily Show”-style heading “Indecision 2005.” Last year’s host, Chris Rock, was not asked back; eight-time host Billy Crystal said he declined an invitation because of his busy schedule. Published reports claimed that negotiations were underway with Whoopi Goldberg and Steve Martin, though those were never confirmed.

With the often barbed political humor of his nightly show on Comedy Central, Stewart seems to be a perfect fit for the Oscars in a year that saw the release of a large number of acclaimed movies with political and social leanings, including “Brokeback Mountain,” “Good Night, and Good Luck, ” “Crash,” “Munich,” “Syriana” and “The Constant Gardener.”

I’m sure the ceremony will have no political overtones whatsoever. Personally, I can’t wait.

And the mike goes to… [The Envelope]