In case you've been stuck on Mars like The Martian, or sleeping in an animal carcass like The Revenant, the Oscars are this Sunday. And that means the return of Chris Rock, who will take his second turn as host, after his last stint as host more than a decade ago.
Rock's monologue and hosting segments at the 2005 Oscars show that he is definitely the right man for the job. Not only is he one of the greatest living comedians, his past appearance offers a look at how he might take on this year's #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
In 2005, Rock addressed a lack of diversity right out of the gate, "We have four black nominees... great... so it's kind of like the Def Oscar jam." (The camera then awkwardly cut to the four, including winners Jamie Foxx and Morgan Freeman).
Rock didn't only joke about celebrity culture, he also went political, which will be cathartic in this election year. He joked about Bush's recent reelection—with an extended metaphor that involved the Gap waging war on Banana Republic. And it worked.
A man-on-the-street bit took on #OscarsSoWhite before it was trending—and before hashtags were even a thing. Rock went to the Magic Johnson theater in Harlem to ask people about their favorite movies of the year, highlighting how out-of-touch the Academy and "prestige movies" are with the average viewer.
That divide has arguably gotten wider in the eleven years since.
Rock has been implicitly talking about #OscarsSoWhite his whole career, and is primed to take it on directly this Sunday. He's been teasing on Twitter his complete fearlessness, calling the ceremony the "White BET Awards."
Like he did in his 1996 HBO special, on Sunday night, Chris Rock will bring the pain.