Ellen DeGeneres on why she (probably) won't host the Oscars again: 'It's a thankless job'

During her affable last turn as Academy Awards host, Ellen DeGeneres gave us pizzaGlinda and one of the most star-studded selfies ever.

But the daytime TV personality, who emceed the event in 2007 and 2014, has little interest in returning for a third time — even as the Academy scrambles to find a new host for the 2019 awards, following Kevin Hart's dramatic exit last week.

"I don't want to say 'no,' because I've said 'no' before and then I did," DeGeneres tells USA TODAY. "But it's probably a 99.9% no."

Hart confirmed he was hosting February's Oscar telecast on social media early last week, only to step down less than two days later, following outrage over his history of homophobic tweetsand initial refusal to apologize for them.

DeGeneres declines to comment on Hart's exit, saying she'd "just rather stay out of that whole thing."

But in terms of who should replace him, "I thought Jimmy Kimmel did a great job (last year)," DeGeneres says. "Stephen Colbert would be great. Look, it's a thankless job, and coming on this late, it feels like that's a really tough position to (be in).

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"I think they should just have multiple hosts and multiple people introducing categories, because it's not about the host anyway," she continues. "No matter how well you do, it's really just about the performances and the awards. That's all anybody really cares about, so that's probably the best way to go."

DeGeneres received generally positive reviews for both her stints hosting the Oscars. But she finds the job much more stressful than her current gig on her daytime talk show, which she is considering ending when her contract is up in 2020. ("I don't know. I haven't really decided what I'm going to do," she says.)

"I have guests on, I'm supposed to highlight them and and talk about their projects, but ultimately, it's my tone and my show, and the audience is coming to see me," DeGeneres says. "With the Oscars, people are just waiting to hear if they win or lose, and so there's a lot of stress going on and they're not really focused. Your job is to make everybody relaxed for the first 10 minutes or whatever that monologue is ... (but) as the show progresses and there are more losers in the audience, the mood gets worse. It's just a tough gig."

DeGeneres' stand-up special "Relatable" (her first since 2003) premieres on Netflix Dec. 18.

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