Jon Stewart to front the Oscars?

By the time you're reading this, it could already have happened: the host for the 78th Academy Awards is set to be revealed Thursday morning in LA and, word is, Jon Stewart tops the list.

Stewart fronts The Daily Show, a colossally successful news and talk show satire shown on Comedy Central in the US and weeknights on More4 in the UK. Stewart has also cropped up in more than 10 films, including Big Daddy with Adam Sandler and Kevin Smith's Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back.

Stewart won legions of fans after his pre-taped comic rant at last years Emmy Awards show. The gagsman's attack on the US government's handling of the hurricane Katrina disaster was badly dubbed to give the impression he supported the Bush administration.

The whispers are that if Stewart is an Oscar success, the Academy see him as a recurring host, much like his fellow New Yorker Billy Crystal who fronted the ceremony three years on the bounce in the early 90s. Time, as some wise old bird once pronounced, will tell.