Our favorite all-time Oscar hosts


While the Academy Awards are all about the winners of the night, there is one person who shines above them all: the host.


While it can often be a thankless job, the host keeps up the energy of the night by making the show an unforgettable one through confidence and humor. Without the host, the show would be lost.


That's why, over the decades of Oscar ceremonies, including this year's, there have been only seven shows without hosts.


Whether it's with a song and dance, poking fun of the nominees or unforgettable costumes, the host guides the audiences through one of the longest-running award shows in Hollywood.


So put on your designer dress or suit, grab your best date and read on as we pick the best hosts in Oscar history.


And the top five Oscars for best host goes to ...


No. 5: Steve Martin


Steve Martin is a comedian and actor who tells it like it is ... and had the privilege of hosting the Oscars three times between 2001 and 2010.


His cynicism can either come off as standoffish or have you cracking a smile. He also has no problem poking fun at the nominees as he once attempted to define what a movie star is: "They can be tall, short, thin, or skinny. They can be Democrats ... or skinny."


Martin shared hosting duties with Alec Baldwin in 2010, but proved that he could handle an award show on his own by showing his sarcasm and wit. During his first ceremony, he cracked that "Hollywood is about all of us working together for one common love -- publicity."


Most memorable hosting quote: "Hosting is like making love to a beautiful woman; it's something I only get to do when Billy Crystal is out of town."


No. 4: Whoopi Goldberg


Comedian and actress Whoopi Goldberg was the first African-American woman (and woman in general) to host the Oscars without a co-host, doing so four times between 1994 and 2002.


She is also the only host to have earned an Oscar of her own, which she won for her performance in "Ghost."


Goldberg was known for her grand entrances with her unforgettable costumes that left audience members and viewers clapping and laughing.


Whether it was coming down from the ceiling in feathers and a top hat or dressed as Queen Elizabeth I, Goldberg was able to poke fun at race and was one of the few Oscar hosts who could get away with it: "So much mud was thrown this year, all the nominees look black," cracked Goldberg in 2002.


Most memorable hosting quote: "Security here tonight is tighter than some of the faces."


No. 3: Johnny Carson


Johnny Carson was already the king of late night TV on "The Tonight Show," and became even more of a hit as a five-time Oscar host between 1979 and 1984.


The Oscars have always been a tough gig for comedians. As the show drags on, they find themselves delivering their schtick to an auditorium of stewing also-rans who just want to head home -- or to the after party.


Carson also had the honor of following in the hosting shoes of Bob Hope, a movie actor beloved by the Academy's membership. Coming from TV, Carson had to win them over quickly and did so with his very first line: "Welcome to two hours of sparkling entertainment spread out over a four-hour show."


With every punch line delivered with his sharp timing, Carson had the audience crying from laughter and eating from his hand.


Most memorable hosting quote: "This is the night that Hollywood puts aside its petty jealousies, and brings out its major jealousies."


No. 2: Billy Crystal


Whether he's edited himself into the Best Picture montages, wooed us with a song and dance or analyzed the nominees ("I see white people!"), actor and comedian Billy Crystal's funny antics have won us over each time -- nine times, to be exact, between 1990 and 2012.


Crystal became such a hit with audience members and viewers that he ranks behind only actor and comedian Bob Hope when it comes to most ceremonies hosted.


His advice to newcomers? "Look like you want to be there," he said. "Be good and enjoy yourself."


Crystal was so popular that when he returned from a three-year break from hosting duties in 1997, the audience greeted him with an overwhelming standing ovation. And you could tell that Crystal was genuinely moved by the salute.


Most memorable hosting quote: "For those of you who are keeping score at home, I just want to make something very clear: Martin Scorsese, zero Oscars; Three 6 Mafia, one."


No. 1: Bob Hope


Comedian and actor Bob Hope holds the record for hosting the Oscars more than anyone else: 18 times between 1940 and 1978, 10 of those as a solo host. That's a record that's unlikely to be broken.


As a well-respected actor and comedian, Hope often joked that he should receive an Oscar "just for attending." Although Hope was never nominated for an Oscar for his performances, the Academy honored him with four honorary awards as well as the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.


With his unforgettable charm and wit, Hope was able to put a smile on audience members and viewers as he made the three-hour show seem shorter.


Most memorable hosting quote: "Tonight we set aside petty differences, forget old feuds and start new ones."