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Oscars 2022: Get to Know Hosts Regina Hall, Amy Schumer, and Wanda Sykes

Prepare for the tone of the 2022 Oscars ceremony by getting to know the hosts through their past work.
by Danielle Turchiano — 
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From left to right: Amy Schumer, Regina Hall, and Wanda Sykes

ABC

Regina Hall. Amy Schumer. Wanda Sykes.

Any one of these women on their own can more than hold an audience's attention, be it on a screen big or small or standing on a stage, speaking to a room of thousands. Together, they should be unstoppable.

That was likely the thinking behind bringing the three of them together to host the 2022 Oscars ceremony as a trio. After all, the ratings for the Oscars have been in a steady decline for years. Last year's 93rd annual ceremony only drew 10.4 million total live viewers, which was down from 2020's 92nd annual ceremony ratings of 23.6 million total live viewers.

Each of the three women, on their own, is known for a unique brand of comedy, but how those styles will mesh is yet to be seen. Hall and Schumer have never shared the stage or screen together before the Oscars (well, at least before the run-up of press for the Oscars), and this also marks the first collaboration between all three of them.

However, Schumer and Sykes previously appeared on-screen together in the 2017 feature comedy Snatched and were both participants in Bonnie McFarlane's 2014 documentary, Women Aren't Funny. They also both have NBC's stand-up comedy competition series Last Comic Standing in common. And Hall and Sykes both starred in 2021's Breaking News in Yuba County and also have ABC's black-ish on their résumés, with Sykes recurring in the latter as one of Dre's (Anthony Anderson) bosses and Hall guest-starring as Vivian, Dre and Bow's (Tracee Ellis Ross) short-term nanny. (Hall and Sykes both appeared in the 2016 episode titled "Black Nanny.")

If you're curious about what kind of tone these women may bring to film's biggest yearly celebration, look no further than their previous work to get a sense of who they are and what they find funny. Here, Metacritic highlights some of their best work, based on their Metascore.


Regina Hall

Actor and producer Hall first broke out in the 2000 horror-comedy movie Scary Movie, which sent up the recently-revitalized teen slasher flick. Although she continued to appear in that franchise throughout the early-aughts, she also took on more grounded roles across film and television, from David E. Kelley's Ally McBeal to Law & Order: L.A.

She starred in rom-com Think Like a Man, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, and its sequel; holiday romantic dramedy The Best Man Holiday; and the Barbershop sequel, subtitled The Next Cut. That latter film proved to be very fruitful for Hall, who went on to work with its co-writer, Tracy Oliver, on Girls Trip and Little, as well.

Hall recently also reunited with Kelley for Nine Perfect Strangers, a limited streaming series adaptation of Liane Moriarty's novel of the same title.

In addition to acting, Hall has also been serving as a producer on some of her recent projects, from Little, to her Showtime comedy Black Monday; her latest film, Master, which just launched on Prime Video; and the upcoming feature Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul, due later this year.

Metacritic highlights some of Hall's highest-rated recent acting gigs below.

Insecure

Metascore: 84
Best for: Fans of female-led friendship comedies
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , iTunes,
Seasons: 5

Issa Rae co-created and stars in this friendship comedy set in Los Angeles that follows her character, Issa Dee, as she navigates bettering her life on both the professional and personal side of things. She has a solid group of girlfriends, with Molly (Yvonne Orji) usually acting as her ride-or-die, but she has some messy entanglements with exes, most notably Lawrence (Jay Ellis). Although the show mostly offers a slice-of-life look at what it means to be young, Black, and ambitious in L.A. today, it also comments on the media itself. And that is where Hall's character, Ninny, comes in: Ninny is a fictional slave in love with her master (Scott Foley) on a soap opera set in the pre-Civil War South. That show-within-the-show, Due North, is sprinkled throughout the second season of Insecure, as Issa watches it while going through her own romantic strife.

"Its charismatic characters progress, inch by inch, in pursuit of grand romantic love and career clout while taking for granted what's already aspirational about their lives." — Amanda Whiting, IndieWire


The Hate U Give

Metascore: 81
Best for: Fans of socially-minded young adult dramas
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 133 minutes

Angie Thomas' 2017 novel gets the big-screen adaptation treatment from director George Tillman Jr. and screenwriter Audrey Wells the year after it was released. In the film, her protagonist Starr Carter is played by Amandla Stenberg. Starr and her childhood friend Khalil (Algee Smith) get pulled over by the police on their way home from a party, resulting in the officer shooting and killing him. The story hits the national news, but Starr at first tries to keep the secret of her closeness to Khalil and her presence at the scene of the murder. That proves to be more complicated than she initially thought, due to pressures both internal and external, and eventually she agrees to testify. Her father's relationship to the local gangs complicates things further, seeing Starr struggle to do what she believes is right. Hall plays Lisa Carter, Starr's mother.

"A life-affirming rebuttal to apathy, despair and surrender." — Cary Darling, San Francisco Chronicle


Girls Trip

Metascore: 71
Best for: Fans of female friendships, raunchy humor, and vacation-set movies
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 122 minutes

Hall stars as Ryan Pierce, a woman who is on her way to achieving mega success, in this friendship comedy feature film. However, she wants to reunite with her close girlfriends (played by Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Tiffany Haddish) from college, so she invites them all to a music festival at which she is set to be the keynote speaker. What is supposed to be a fun time for reconnecting and reminiscing turns south quickly, though, when Ryan's friends tell her that her husband is cheating on her, threaten him with violence, and get kicked out of their fancy hotel. New relationship dynamics mix with old ones as the women do try to have as good a time as possible.

"Girls Trip is a very good time." — Emily Yoshida, Vulture


Master

Metascore: 66
Best for: Fans of psychological horror movies that comment on history and institutionalized racism
Where to watch: 


Runtime: 91 minutes

Writer-director Mariama Diallo's first feature stars Hall as the first Black head of a residence hall at a prestigious college. Only, she can't fully celebrate the achievement, in part because of the modern racism that still surrounds her and in part because of the centuries of racism that seeped into the walls of the campus buildings, leaving behind a curse. And Hall's character is not the only one who notices these things: a student (played by Zoe Renee) is also smacked in the face with them because she has been assigned a dorm room that is suspected to be haunted, and another professor (played by Amber Gray) is experiencing issues while up for tenure.

"Master is inventive in finding fresh ways to package familiar observations about American racism." — Lovia Gyarkye, The Hollywood Reporter


Black Monday

Metascore: 57
Best for: Fans of period pieces, larger-than-life characters, and more jokes per scene than you can count
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Seasons: 3

The first season of this Wall Street-set comedy follows a fictionalized version of what happened to result in the real-life Black Monday stock market crash. An aspiring stockbroker (played by Andrew Rannells) ends up working for a veteran in the field (played by Don Cheadle) who has deep secrets about his real identity and a complicated romantic relationship with one of his colleagues (played by Hall). Through a series of convoluted deals and personal crises, things collide to cause the crash, and from there, the series expands in its final two seasons to see what that means for these key players (and more). For some, it includes unexpected political campaigns and other kinds of business success, while for others, it leaves them spiraling to get back to who they truly are.

"Intelligent, rapid-fire dialogue and brilliant performances from a stellar cast will leave you laughing and wanting more." — Terry Terrones, The Gazette


Amy Schumer

Schumer's entrance to the film and television industry was as a stand-up comedian first, appearing as a contestant on Last Comic Standing in 2007. From there, she did additional reality television, including competing on Reality Bites Back the following year, before getting her own sketch series just a few years later.

Inside Amy Schumer, which originally aired on Comedy Central, was a true auteur moment for Schumer, who wrote, executive produced, directed, and starred in the series that featured narrative sketches, pieces of her stand-up sets, on-the-street interviews, and slightly more in-depth interviews, to allow Schumer to comment on everything from how women are seen in the media to hangups around sex.

The experience of being a multi-hyphenate on that show likely served her well for some of her most recent projects. First, there was Expecting Amy, a docuseries in which she opens up her life and complicated pregnancy for the world to see. Then, there was Amy Schumer Learns to Cook, a cooking series she and her real-life husband, chef Chris Fischer, put together in their home during the COVID-19 pandemic. And just last week she premiered Life & Beth on Hulu, a dramedy that sees her playing the eponymous character whose mother dies unexpectedly, forcing her to reevaluate their relationship through the years and take steps to become the woman she really wants to be now.

Below you will find some of Schumer's highest-rated recent roles.

Girls

Metascore: 80
Best for: Fans of Lena Dunham's view on relationships
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, HBO MaxiTunes,
Seasons: 6

Dunham was not afraid to dig deep into all of the missteps young women can make when setting out in the world with a lot of ambition, an equal amount of privilege, and an idea of what life should be without necessarily knowing how to make that idea a reality. Dunham's Hannah Horvath, an aspiring writer, starts out as shellshocked that her parents have decided to stop supporting her, but quickly adapts with a little help from her supportive friends (played by Allison Williams, Jemima Kirke, and Zosia Mamet). All four of the young women make their share of mistakes in their relationships with each other, as well as with their various significant others over the course of the series' six seasons, but they also come into their own and do a whole lot of growing up, too. Schumer has a two-episode guest-starring arc in the second season finale and third season premiere as Angie, a friend of a woman Hannah's on-again-off-again boyfriend Adam (Adam Driver) is involved with.

"It's a show that comes to us with its voice, characters and ideas fully formed." — Maureen Ryan, The Huffington Post


The Humans

Metascore: 78
Best for: Fans of claustrophobic family gatherings and psychologically complex character dramas
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 108 minutes

Stephen Karam adapted his own play for his directorial film debut, which is set at the Blake family's Thanksgiving in a small apartment in Manhattan and sees the various family members experiencing emotional turmoil over their relationships with each other, their disapproval of other family member's choices, and their struggles to succeed in the greater world. Beanie Feldstein and Steven Yeun play Brigid and Richard, the couple who host Thanksgiving (with her family being the clan invading their home), while Schumer plays Aimee, Brigid's sister who is suffering both a breakup and a new illness. 

"The Blakes' shaky dynamic...could be considered normal, but by using filmmaking techniques usually reserved for ghost stories, Karam challenges that normalcy." — Shirley Li, The Atlantic


Trainwreck

Metascore: 75
Best for: Fans of new rom-coms centering on a complex female character
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes,
Runtime: 125 minutes

Schumer wrote and stars in this 2015 Judd Apatow-directed comedy feature as Amy, the titular trainwreck. But she is only that way because her father drilled very skewed ideas about relationships into her head from a very young age. Well, mostly. She does, after all, sleep with the subject of an article she is writing pretty much immediately after meeting him. (He is played by Bill Hader.) While this is ill-advised, professionally, it does set her down an important (thought not at all straight-line) path of learning about love and how to get out of your own way when it comes to relationships.

"It's very funny and sweet and even a little weepy, and it has maybe the best scene ever filmed of dirty talk gone wrong." — Sara Stewart, New York Post


Life & Beth

Metascore: 70
Best for: Fans of complicated mother-daughter dynamics and stories about self-discovery
Where to watch: 


Seasons: 1

Schumer is hardly the first comedian to turn her attention to more dramatic fare, but with this new Hulu series she is helping to lead a trend of women doing just that, which forces the audience to stop underestimating them. In many ways, that is an apt parallel for her character, Beth, who has underestimated herself for years, likely due to the way she related to her mother (played by Laura Benanti). After her mother dies, Beth starts to think more about the insecurities of her childhood that she allowed to hold her back, and she slowly starts to let them fall away, embarking on a new romantic relationship, a new job, and even a slightly adjusted dynamic with her sister (played by Susannah Flood).

"Life & Beth starts strong, ends strong, and features a lead with genuine dramatic chops." — Verne Gay, Newsday


Thank You For Your Service (2017)

Metascore: 68
Best for: Fans of veteran stories that don't shy away from grief and survivor's guilt
Where to watch: 

, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu
Runtime: 109 minutes

Writer-director Jason Hall made his directorial debut with this 2017 adaptation of David Finkel's book of the same name. The book was a nonfiction story of veterans returning home to the U.S. after a year and a half on deployment in Iraq, and the film dramatizes those soldiers and events. It centers on Adam Schumann (Miles Teller), a decorated veteran and a husband and father now suffering from intense PTSD due to this time overseas. As he struggles mentally, he is faced with his veteran friends' own struggles of both the physical and emotional kind. Schumer plays the wife of one of Adam's friends and troop mates who didn't make it home.

"Thank You For Your Service is The Best Years of Our Lives for the modern generation of war veterans." — Marjorie Baumgarten, The Austin Chronicle


Wanda Sykes

The Emmy-winning Sykes is a stand-up comedian, writer, producer, and performer who first appeared on television in the 1990s. Before the end of that decade she had already picked up her first nominations from the Television Academy, including a win for Outstanding Writing for a Variety or Music Program as part of the team behind The Chris Rock Show. Since then, many more accolades followed, including 12 more Primetime Emmy nominations and a Daytime one.

Some of the highest-rated projects Sykes has been apart of are animated. (See Fox's The Simpsons, which has a Metascore of 87; Netflix's Big Mouth and BoJack Horseman, which have Metascores of 86 and 82 respectively; and HBO Max's Harley Quinn, with a Metascore of 82.) And she has also had great success as a writer and producer, working on everything from the docuseries Visible: Out on Television for Apple TV+ to many stand-up comedy centric projects (Last Coming Standing, Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready for Netflix, and her own specials, to name a few.)

Currently she can be heard voicing Frette in Gearbox Software's latest release, Tiny Tina's Wonderlands. Up next for her is voicing Harriet Tubman on Adult Swim's animated series Alabama Jackson and Season 2 of Netflix's The Upshaws, which she created, executive produces and stars on as Lucretia Turner.

Get to know Sykes through some of her highest-rated recent acting work, below.

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Metascore: 84
Best for: Fans of Seinfeld, cranky male protagonists, and uncomfortable situations played for laughs 
Where to watch: 


Seasons:
11 (so far)

Larry David created and stars in this improv sitcom based on his own life and dealings with those around him in the television industry and Los Angeles in general. The fictionalized Larry is constantly getting into conflicts from misunderstandings and/or stubbornness on his part, with some of those conflicts delivering singular stories per episode and others being big enough to carry through the course of a season (such as his opening a spite store or dating a city councilwomen just to get her to change a rule about fences around pools). Sykes recurs as a version of herself, who dislikes Larry and often calls him out on microaggressions and other racist behavior (even if it was intentional on his part).

"The show is a drop-dead accurate, edge-of-your-seat depiction of the minefield through which we all tread everyday." — Adam Buckman, New York Post


The Other Two

Metascore: 80
Best for: Fans of offbeat family dynamics and inside Hollywood references
Where to watch: 

, iTunes,
Seasons: 2 (so far)

Former Saturday Night Live writers Chris Kelly and Sarah Schneider co-created The Other Two, a family sitcom set in the entertainment industry. The title plays with the idea that adult siblings Cary (Drew Tarver) and Brooke (Heléne Yorke) feel overshadowed by their little brother, a Justin Bieber-esque pop star named Chase Dreams (Case Walker), but as episodes go on, all of the family members, including mom Pat (Molly Shannon), experience some wins. Although there are a lot of laughs around what they go through with such a famous child in their family, there is a lot of heart as well. Sykes guest-stars as Shuli Kucerac, a no-nonsense executive from the record label Chase has signed with.

"The Other Two is so smart and so funny about celebrity, success, family, pop culture, relationships, and the various kingdoms of Andy Cohen's reality-show empire." — Erik Adams, The A.V. Club


The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Metascore: 78
Best for: Fans of fast-talking female protagonists and fictionalized takes on comedians
Where to watch:


Seasons: 4 (so far)

Rachel Brosnahan stars as the eponymous comedian, Miriam "Midge" Maisel, who only steps on stage after a tumultuous turn of events where she learns her husband is cheating on her. Her initial comedy style is just string-of-conscious venting, but she draws laughs and feeds a part of herself she didn't know she needed, and from there she, along with her manager Susie (Alex Borstein), sets down the path of trying to make it as a professional in late-1950s New York City. Sykes only guest stars in one episode (the Season 3 finale titled "A Jewish Girl Walks Into the Apollo..."), but it is an extremely notable moment, as she portrays real-life comic Moms Mabley, including delivering part of a stand-up set in Moms' voice for the Maisel cameras. It was a performance that earned Sykes a career third acting Emmy nomination.

"Bursting with old-fashioned charm, Maisel is shot in the style of Woody Allen's nostalgic comedies, with a jazzy soundtrack of old standards and an eye for the beautiful chaos that is life in the Big Apple." — Dave Nemetz, TV Line


black-ish

Metascore: 77
Best for: Fans of family comedies and light-hearted ways to discuss important (and often charged) social and political topics
Where to watch:

, Google Play, , iTunes,
Seasons: 8

Kenya Barris' broadcast sitcom loosely based on his own life as a Black family man working in a predominantly white creative field is told from the patriarch's point of view. But although he (Dre) narrates the stories, those stories don't solely keep him in the center. With his parents (played by Jenifer Lewis and Laurence Fishburne) around and five kids growing up over the course of the show's eight-season run, Dre and his wife Bow have multiple generations' of perspectives to consider on everything from technology and fashion to police brutality and the president. The show isn't afraid to tackle it all. Sykes plays Daphne Lido, one of Dre's bosses, a performance for which she has been twice-nominated at the Emmys.

"Fiercely funny, sharply observed, and unfailingly good-humored about the racial divide." — Verne Gay, Newsday


Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear's 'All in the Family' and 'The Jeffersons'

Metascore: 71
Best for: Fans of classic sitcoms and stage plays
Where to watch: 


Runtime: 66 minutes

The first in what has become an annual tradition of live re-creations of classic Norman Lear sitcom episodes centers on George Jefferson (as played by Jamie Foxx) in 2019. "Henry's Farewell" was that character's television debut on All in the Family, and that is the first episode performed, followed by "A Friend in Need" from The Jeffersons. Sykes stepped into Isabel Stanford's role of Louise Jefferson, George's wife, for the special. Other actors who star in this first special include Woody Harrelson as Archie Bunker and Marisa Tomei as Edith Bunker, while Lear and Jimmy Kimmel host. Subsequent specials feature episodes of Good Times, Diff'rent Strokes, and The Facts of Life.

"A loving, celebratory exercise in the art of situation comedy." — Kristen Baldwin, Entertainment Weekly