Jon Stweart is tapped to host Oscars

Posted: January 06, 2006

JON STEWART, the smart-ass host of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," will be cracking wise at the Oscars this year. He's been tapped to host when the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences hands out its awards in March.

"Jon is the epitome of a perfect host - smart, engaging, irreverent and funny," Oscar producer Gil Cates said.

"As a performer, I'm truly honored to be hosting the show," Stewart said, then joked: "Although, as an avid watcher of the Oscars, I can't help but be a little disappointed with the choice. It appears to be another sad attempt to smoke out Billy Crystal."

Last year's host, Chris "Everybody Hates Chris" Rock, succeeded in drawing a younger audience, but his barbs skewering stars like Jude Law, Tobey Maguire and others alienated some academy members.

A Sirius bonus

Howard Stern's new boss, Sirius Satellite Radio, is giving him 34 million shares of stock - worth about $220 million - because the company met targets for gaining subscribers under its 2004 deal with the shock jock.

'Hostel' takeover

Barbara Nedeljakova can be as terrifying as she is gorgeous.

She's one of the stars of writer/director Eli Roth's new thriller, "Hostel," which opens today.

Dan Gross recently spoke with her and Roth, who started dating shortly after production wrapped on the film last year, at the Four Seasons. Heads turned as Gross and the filmmakers talked in detail about the violence in the film about American tourists in Europe whose pursuit of drugs and fast women leads them into a world of torture and murder. ("Hostel" is reviewed on Page 30.)

Roth says people who have seen "Hostel," assume he loves violence, but really, "it scares me to death."

Since he made "Cabin Fever" in 2002, Roth has had offers to make other films for studios, but his friend Quentin Tarantino (who has an executive-producer credit on "Hostel") advised him to follow his heart. His heart led to "Hostel." What's next for Roth? He says he's putting all his energy into promoting "Hostel," but predicts he and Hollywood will see much more of Nedeljakova.

Cash crib stayin' alive

Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees has purchased the home where Johnny Cash and his wife, June Carter Cash, lived for 35 years.

Gibb and wife Linda bought the rustic retreat on Old Hickory Lake, just outside of Nashville, for an undisclosed sum. The asking price was $2.5 million.

Celebrity dragnet

One of Britain's most senior police officers has urged supermodel Kate Moss to return home to answer questions about her alleged cocaine use. Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur said he wants Moss to tell police her story.

"For everybody's sake, and for her to move on, the sooner she speaks to us the better," Ghaffur said in a statement yesterday.

"We wish for the investigation to take its course, and she would be dealt with very fairly and proportionately, as would be the case with anybody else."

Moss, 31, lost valuable contracts with H&M, Burberry and Chanel after the Daily Mirror tabloid in September published pictures of her apparently using cocaine in a west London music studio where her then-boyfriend, rock musician Pete Doherty, was recording with his group Babyshambles.

She later went into a rehab clinic in Arizona and hasn't been home since. She was pictured earlier this week skiing in Aspen.

Babyface and wife split

The wife of Grammy-winning singer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds has filed for divorce after 13 years of marriage, citing irreconcilable differences, court papers indicated.

Tracey Edmonds filed for divorce in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The couple, who say they remain "best friend," have produced movies and TV shows together, as well as sons Brandon, 9, and Dylan, 4 1/2. *

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