Oscars 2022: Regina Hall, Wanda Sykes Fix The Academy’s Host Problem

Oscars 2022: Regina Hall, Wanda Sykes Fix The Academy’s Host Problem

Alongside Amy Schumer, actress Regina Hall and comedian Wanda Sykes reminded everyone why having hosts is the right move.

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Hosts Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall during the live ABC telecast of the 94th Oscars® at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA, on Sunday, March 27, 2022.
Hosts Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall during the live ABC telecast of the 94th Oscars® at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood in Los Angeles, CA, on Sunday, March 27, 2022.
Photo: Kyusung Gong / A.M.P.A.S.

For the first time since 2018, the Academy Awards had hosts–and boy did they pick the right year to return.

Wanda Sykes, Regina Hall and Amy Schumer kept the three-and-a-half-hour show moving, even through the good, the bad and the really awkward. While every bit didn’t quite hit the bullseye, for the most part, it was a fun show that signaled a return to hilarious frivolity. Let’s look at how their skits went from worst to best.

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Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall Give Out Gifts

Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall Give Out Gifts

The pair handed out consolation prizes to some of the night’s losers and they included a screener that no one wanted of the Matt Damon/Ben Affleck drama The Last Duel, a pre-shredded Texas election ballot and Kim Kardashian inspired words of wisdom for Dame Judi Dench. It’s clear what the pair were going for, but it felt like the length of the endless show was getting to the audience and these jokes didn’t land as well as the ones earlier in the proceedings did. It was like this bit came out of the oven a little underbaked.

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Wanda Sykes Takes Us Inside the Movies With the Academy Museum

Wanda Sykes Takes Us Inside the Movies With the Academy Museum

Wanda visits the new Academy Museum and cracks jokes about the various Hollywood memorabilia. There wasn’t anything especially ground-breaking or new about this skit. Yes, there were laughs, but this is a sketch we’ve seen Sykes do hundreds of times in other hosting gigs.

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When Costume Planning Goes Awry for Oscar Hosts

When Costume Planning Goes Awry for Oscar Hosts

It starts with Wanda dressed as Richard Williams from King Richard, and gets crazier from there. Apparently, Regina and Amy were supposed to be Venus and Serena but went with their own ideas instead. Regina was weirdly disturbing as The Eyes of Tammy Faye’s lead character, while Amy may be waiting a while on that call from Marvel based on her Spider-Man. The only thing missing was for Schumer to shout out or interact with actual Spider-Man Andrew Garfield.

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Regina Hall Enacts an Innovative New Protocol

Regina Hall Enacts an Innovative New Protocol

Regina being single and looking was a regular joke during the entire show. Right after the monologue she flirtatiously called a few handsome, single actors on stage because she needed to administer a new COVID test with her tongue. The bit was very funny and everyone was in on the joke, but I feel like I should point out that no one would ever consider doing this kind of comedy with a group of gorgeous actresses. It was one of the more memorable moments of the night, but I have a feeling without Will Smith taking up the post-show oxygen this skit would receive far more scrutiny.

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Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes Welcome Everyone to the 94th Oscars

Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes Welcome Everyone to the 94th Oscars

The trio’s opening monologue was one of the funniest moments of the night, with their hilariously accurate commentary about three women costing less than one man, the decision to cut four awards from the live show and how people in Florida would hear “gay” a lot. This was a great way to start the show and set a light, fun tone for the whole night that was a stark change from last year’s serious, low key (boring) affair. It also showcased the surprisingly easy chemistry the three women would display throughout the event.

The minute one Oscars ends, the Academy immediately starts planning for the next one. So based upon how the evening unfolded, I wouldn’t be mad to see this trio return for a second engagement

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