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If you thought that Neil Patrick Harris was heading for a third duty as host of a major awards show, think again. And for those web sites that fed the rumor of Billy Crystal returning for Oscar® festivities, well you're wrong. If you bet on David Letterman as a longshot host, you lost your money.
In fact, it was announced today that there will be two hosts this year. Steve Martin returns for the third time as host of the 82nd Oscars® along with first time host Alec Baldwin. The news was announced today by show producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman. The producers remarked that "Steve will bring the experience of having hosted the show in the past, and Alec will be a completely fresh personality for this event." Martin previously hosted the awards show in 2001 and 2003 while Baldwin has been a presenter in the past, most recently in 2004.
Some years have seen multiple hosts, such as in 1987 when Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn, and Paul Hogan shared the duties. In 1957 Jerry Lewis and Celeste Holm were co-hosts in a ceremony that took place on both the east and west coasts. This will be the first time that two hosts have shared the same locale on Oscar® Night in 80 years, when Douglas Fairbanks and William C. Demille shared the spotlight at the very first awards ceremony in 1929.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, both Martin and Baldwin have considerable experience in the live telecast realm, with Martin hosting Saturday Night Live 15 times and Baldwin 14. I wasn't surprised with Martin's tally but Baldwin caught me off guard. The two stars are also appearing together in Nancy Meyer's comedy "It's Complicated," starring Meryl Streep, which Universal will release in December.
The 82nd Oscars® will be held March 7 and broadcast live by ABC from the Kodak Theatre.
To watch some great clips from past awards shows, go to the official Oscar® You Tube page at http://www.youtube.com/user/oscars?blend=3&ob=4#p/u/6/QJaOo5jw6cI