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Here's How the Oscars Handled Not Having a Host

No host, no problem?

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Christopher Rosen

Is this just real life? For this year's Academy Awards, unfortunately, yes. In lieu of not having a host for the first time in 30 years, the Oscars opened its 2019 ceremony with the surviving members of Queen and singer Adam Lambert performing "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions." (Queen, of course, is the focus of Best Picture nominee Bohemian Rhapsody and one of 2018's biggest global box office hits.)

The last time the Oscars went without a host was in 1989, an infamous show that included a much-derided opening number featuring Rob Lowe and Snow White. Not that this year was supposed to make history in that fashion. Late last year, Kevin Hart was announced as emcee of the ceremony, a job he held for just 48 hours. After the academy named Hart as host, a series of homophobic tweets from the comic's past resurfaced, and amid the ensuing uproar, Hart refused to apologize... until he did offer a mea culpa while also stepping down as host. Later, during an appearance on Ellen DeGeneres' talk show, DeGeneres pleaded with Hart to reconsider his decision. After further criticism, however, Hart decided against hosting once and for all.

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Member of British rock band Queen Brian May and U.S. singer-songwriter Adam Lambert perform during the 91st Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on Feb. 24, 2019.

VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images

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But while there was no official host, the opening moments of the Oscars weren't without comedy. Immediately following the Queen performance -- which was mocked on social media, though Oscar attendees seemed to enjoy the show from inside the ceremony -- Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and Tina Fey came out to present Best Supporting Actress. The trio of long-time friends and collaborators killed with a slew of jokes about not hosting and what they would have said and done if they were the hosts. Maybe next year.

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