The comedian denied any interest in the now-dreaded Oscar hosting gig on Monday night at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards dinner in Manhattan.
“If it was five years ago, I could say something really offensive and funny right now, but I can’t do that anymore, so … heyyyy!” Rock cracked, as he took the podium at the NYFCC Awards where he was on hand to present director Bo Burnham with the award for best first film for “Eighth Grade.”
Continuing to do some impromptu standup of sorts, Rock looked into the audience at Steve Martin — who was at the award show to present the best supporting actor award to Richard E. Grant for “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” — and brought up the very topical subject of hosting the Oscars.
“Steve Martin is here. You should host the Oscars. You’re the best,” Rock said. “Steve Martin should host the Oscars! Because I’m not doing it, goddammit! You’re not getting me.”
Rock’s comments come amidst the continuously developing Kevin Hart saga, as the Academy’s search for an Oscars host continues.
Rock has hosted the Oscars twice — first in 2005 and, most recently, in 2016.
Rock was one of many big names at the Monday night dinner, held each year by the NYFCC. Martin Scorsese presented “First Reformed” director Paul Schrader with the best screenplay award; Gayle King introduced Regina King, who won best supporting actress for “If Beale Street Could Talk,” fresh off of her Golden Globe win on Sunday night; Andrew Rannells presented “Support the Girls” star Regina Hall with the lead actress award; and Naomi Watts delivered Alfonso Cuarón best cinematography, one of three awards “Roma” won at the event, including best film.
The intimate event is an annual favorite for stars, who enjoy thanking (and playfully scolding) film critics for their support (or lack thereof) of their films. Ethan Hawke, who won best actor for “First Reformed,” summed the night up perfectly during his acceptance speech: “It was an honor watching Paul Schrader and Martin Scorsese hug. F–k me!”