Oscar taps old pal Martin

Experienced emcee vital to 75th anni show, Cates sez

Steve Martin has another date with Oscar.

Gil Cates, producer of the 75th Academy Awards, announced Thursday that Martin has agreed to host the March 23 Oscarcast, marking his sophomore gig as emcee.

“I’m very pleased to be hosting the Oscars again, because fear and nausea always make me lose weight,” Martin said.

Martin first served as ringleader of the kudocast in March 2001. His Oscar resume also boasts six presenting stints; in addition, he introduced a best picture clip on the 69th telecast in 1997 and participated in a gag film sequence for the 67th show in 1995.

Plenty of experience

“The 75th anniversary show is a meaningful one for the Academy, and it is wonderful to work with a host who’s done it before,” Cates said. “A host who’s witty, clever, sharp, intelligent, quick on his feet and always on top of the unfolding action. Wait, I’ve forgotten something. Oh yeah, and outrageously funny.”

Martin next stars in the Disney comedy “Bringing Down the Houze,” bowing this spring.

He is skedded to lense “Shopgirl” for Lakeshore Entertainment — which he adapted for the screen from his bestseller of the same name — in January. Along with Martin, pic will star Claire Danes and Jimmy Fallon.

Martin’s next novel, “The Pleasure of My Company,” will be published by Hyperion in fall 2003.