Oscars Host Chris Rock Jokes ‘I'm Only Here Cause Ellen Said No’

"I'm only here 'cause Ellen said no," he joked.

February 25, 2016, 11:09 AM

— -- Chris Rock is already joking about the Oscars before he even takes the stage Sunday night as host.

In a rare interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he quipped, "I'm only here because [former Oscars host] Ellen [DeGeneres] didn't want to do the show. I'm only here cause Ellen said no. And I'm sure she said no like eight times."

"She did so good last time she hosted the show. That's kind of the standard," Rock, 51, continued.

Rock cancelled other scheduled interviews leading up to the 88th Academy Awards, airing Sunday at 7 p.m. ET on ABC, after controversy erupted over the lack of diversity in nominees.

The comedian, who previously hosted the awards show in 2005, has also been tight-lipped about his plans for this year. But he has been dropping hints on his Instagram page. The comedian posted a photo Monday with Kristin Wiig and "Stars Wars" director J.J. Abrams.

Rock shared a snap, dressed as an astronaut. His caption read, "Getting my outfit together."

Rock also hinted about the type of jokes viewers can expect in his interview with The Hollywood Reporter. While filming a video for the magazine, he made the crew on set erupt into laughter.

"I'm hosting the Oscars. Someone at ABC is going to get fired for this," he teased, along with, "The Oscars: Where blood, sweat and nepotism finally pay off."

His other jokes: "My favorite Disney memory? I remember I was disappointed as a kid that the Tower of Terror wasn't as scary as my neighborhood. My favorite Disney memory? I became so rich and famous that I could skip in front of white people in line. Now you know how it feels to be black."

Rock said he doesn't know where he plans to "draw the line" on Sunday.

"We haven't really got into that yet," he admitted. "You probably say something more risque at 10:30 than you will at 8:30. Honestly right now, I'm just concentrating on the movies. You know, what's the subjects that are big right now in Hollywood."

Rock said he also plans to keep "the show moving." He added, "If it goes fast enough, people don't notice it when it's not working."

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