This year, Ellen DeGeneres will be hosting the Oscars for the second time, leaving audiences wondering: What jokes can we expect from her monologue? After all, the talk show host has made a career out of being nice, whereas previous Oscar hosts (ahem, Seth MacFarlane!) seemed a natural fit for the ceremony's monologue, which, historically, has been dedicated to poking fun at Hollywood's elite in attendance. But, this year, we have a comedienne at the helm who has said this:
Most comedy is based on getting a laugh at somebody else's expense. And I find that that's just a form of bullying in a major way. So I want to be an example that you can be funny and be kind, and make people laugh without hurting somebody else's feelings.
With this outlook, it's unlikely she'll be taking a lot of pot shots at the audience (probably much to the relief of the Academy, which likely had more than a few members with sweaty brows during MacFarlane's 2013 monologue). DeGeneres' previous showing indicates as much: Back in 2007, during her first Oscars monologue, her light comedy provided laughs for all without insulting anyone. In fact, she not only didn't make jokes at the audience's expense, but actually made a few jokes about herself, something not many other hosts do:
Most people dream of winning an Academy Award. I had a dream of actually hosting the Academy Awards. Let that be a lesson to you kids out there. Aim lower.
But we can also take cues on DeGeneres' humor from her interactions with those nominated. What will she say about this year's nominees, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, and more? Based on her previous jokes about the actors, here are our best guesses:
1. CHRISTIAN BALE
This Best Actor nominee for American Hustle was the recipient of a #ClassicJokeWednesday tweet from DeGeneres, who has always delighted in puns. Perhaps she will pull more of them out for her monologue.
2. LEONARDO DICAPRIO
Nominated for Best Actor for The Wolf of Wall Street, Degeneres and DiCaprio go way back. She even made a joke about him in her first Oscars monologue. "Leonardo DiCaprio is here. Hi Leo," she said as the camera panned over the actor. "Actually I don't have a joke, I just thought the ladies would want to look at him for a second."
DeGeneres has always made jokes about DiCaprio being awesome. There's not likely to be any hateful DiCaprio jokes on March 2, but there could quite possibly be some flattery.
3. MERYL STREEP
When she hosted the first time, DeGeneres did a bit with the actress, vacuuming the floor nearby her seat. Steep happily played along, lifting her legs so DeGeneres could vacuum underneath.
DeGeneres said she might do something like that again with the Best Actress nominee for August: Osage County. "Well, you're so much fun, the last time I hosted I was vacuuming and you lifted your feet for me. You played along. It was great," DeGeneres told the actress recently. "I'm going to find you again this year and do something with you in the audience again."
4. JENNIFER LAWRENCE
After the Best Supporting Actress nominee for American Hustle chopped off her long locks, DeGeneres joked that the actress stole her look. "People want my heart, they want my haircut… what more can I give? I give so much," she said. It's possible we'll see some hair-related jokes at this year's ceremony.
5. MARTIN SCORSESE
Nominated for Best Director for The Wolf of Wall Street, Scorsese and DeGeneres interacted at her previous Oscar hosting. DeGeneres sought him out of the crowd and pretended to give him a script, which he happily took and said, "I'll just take a look during the show." If DeGeneres makes any Scorsese jokes this time, it's likely they'll play into the same territory: recognizing the director for his talents.
6. JULIA ROBERTS
DeGeneres has already played a classic prank on the Best Supporting Actress nominee for August: Osage County by jumping out and scaring her backstage at DeGeneres' show. We hope she goes for another sneak attack during the ceremony, because Roberts' reaction is priceless:
7. JARED LETO
DeGeneres already joked around with the Best Supporting Actor nominee for Dallas Buyers Club when he told her how some of his body hair hasn't yet grown back since all the waxing he did for the role. We wouldn't be surprised if a joke along those lines resurfaced during the actual event.
But whatever jokes DeGeneres makes, March 2 is guaranteed to be a hilarious night. To get excited for her monologue, check out her best quotes from the 2007 Oscars here: