EW has learned exclusively that Jack Black will return April 2 to host Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards, the network’s slap-happy show that’s voted on by kids, for kids. This is Black’s third time hosting the 90-minute event that’ll air live from Los Angeles and feature appearances by Will Ferrell and Justin Bieber.
“Anyone can host something once,” Black tells EW. “But if they ask you back a second time, that means they liked the way you did it. And if you host a third time, that means the first time wasn’t a fluke, and it means you did good two times. So the third time, well – that’s the real achievement.”
For the kiddie network, having Black back is a huge relief: After all, it’s not so easy finding a Hollywood star who’s willing to stand in front of 7 million-plus viewers and endure one or two slime showers. (Previous hosts have included Ben Stiller, Dwayne Johnson and Justin Timberlake.)
“It’s not like hosting the Oscars where you’re performing for a bunch of adults who’ll laugh and pretend they like it because that’s the polite thing to do,” admitted Paula Kaplan, Nick’s head of talent. “Kids wear their emotions on their sleeves, and if they don’t like it, they’ll tell you. So some adults are fearful of that honesty. Jack is up for anything.”
Black, who’s squeezing in the Nick gig while co-starring in The Muppets (set for a Nov. 23 release) and executive producing an NBC comedy pilot for fall called My Life as an Experiment, admits that he’s set the bar pretty high for himself. “You wanna top the last one. I’ve had some pretty dynamic opening numbers,” Black tells EW. “I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but ‘I Was Made for Sliming You, Baby?’ That was one for the ages.”