Steve Martin and Chris Rock open Oscars

Chris Rock and Steve Martin kicked off the 2020 Academy Awards with a hilarious opening monologue.

The two stars - who have previously hosted the ceremony - took to the stage at Los Angeles' Dolby Theatre on Sunday (09.02.20) following a performance from Janelle Monae, and poked fun at the nominated films, guests in attendance, and controversy over the lack of black acting nominees and female directors.

The pair began by joking about the fact the ceremony was hostless for the second year in a row, a decision made in 2019 when Kevin Hart stepped down as the evening's anchor due to a controversy over past homophobic tweets.

Steve said: "We have both hosted the Oscars before and this is such an incredible demotion."

Chris added: "They decided to go hostless this year. [Why?] Twitter!"

Chris - who hosted the 2016 ceremony, which was infamous due to the all-white nominees list - mocked the lack of diversity among the acting nominees.

Spotting Mahershala Ali in the audience, he joked: "Mahershala has two Oscars. You know what that means when the cops pull him over? Nothing."

And he later joked of 'Harriet' star Cynthia Erivo: "Cynthia Erivo did so great at hiding black people that the Academy got her to hide all the Black nominees!"

They also highlighted the lack of recognition for female directors.

As Steve pondered the fact something was missing from the list of nominees, Chris asked: "Vaginas?"

After the pair spotted Amazon boss Jeff Bezos in the audience, they called him a "great actor" before making him their next target.

Chris quipped: "Jeff Bezos' got cash. When he writes the cheque, the bank bounces.

"Jeff Bezos is so rich, he got divorced and he's STILL the richest man in the world. He saw 'Marriage Story' and thought it was a comedy."

Asked if he would take a shot at Jeff, Steve replied, "No, I like getting my packages on time."