I make no secret about it. Besides Christmas, the Oscars are my favorite time of year. Since I’m a movie freak that really shouldn’t surprise anyone. The one day that we celebrate the year that was in the movie world is something I look forward to every year. I know it’s the cool thing to talk smack about the Oscars, but to me it’s one of those things I count down to every year. I’m kind of a loser that way. And for those who like to point out that the Oscar ratings were down last year… don’t forget that aside from the Superbowl it was still the highest rated television broadcast of the year.
Anyway, every year as we approach Oscar season the speculation starts over who will (or should) host the event. I have some very strong feelings on this issue. First and foremost, since it’s the night to celebrate the world of MOVIES, I prefer to have a MOVIE personality host the event rather than a comedian or TV personality. Call me crazy. I don’t see why you’d get Slash from Guns N’ Roses to host the Tony Awards.
With that being said I’ve put together a list of 15 possible hosts for this year’s Oscar ceremonies with what I see as the pros and cons for each potential host. I’m listing them in order of my preference, not in order of what I think their actual chances are of hosting.
|#1 – RICKY GERVAIS|
Pros – The man is absolutely hilarious and continues to be a growing name in the industry. His most recent film “Ghost Town” shows he has all the tools to be a cinematic comedy superstar and his one man stage shows prove he is extremely qualified to handle the hosting duities. A terrific personality and stage presence make Gervais my #1 pick to host the Oscars this year.
Cons – He was already approached about hosting this year and turned it down. DAMN!
|#2 – GEORGE CLOONEY|
Pros – He is the last vestige of the classic Hollywood movie star. An Oscar winner and multi nominated actor and director with some of the most natural charm and presence in the business. George Clooney IS Hollywood and would make a fantastic front man for the event.
Cons – Some people would be turned off from this pick simply because of his political beliefs.
|#3 – STEVE CARELL|
Pros – Carell is a hot name right now, very very funny and has all the tools at his disposal to run and hold the Oscar evening together. Having been a writer for Jon Stewart doesn’t hurt his resume for the job either. He has broad appeal and that would help the Oscar ratings.
Cons – Clearly a movie start NOW… but he’s still relatively new in the industry
|#4 – STEVE MARTIN|
Pros – To this day I think he may have turned in the best Oscar hosting performance of my lifetime. Best joke ever made at the Oscars: “To me, hosting the Oscars is like making love to a beautiful woman. I can only do it when Billy Crystal is out of town”. I nearly laughed myself sick. He is a film legend. He is beyond hilarious. He is all class and not affraid to poke serious fun at the stars. He’s Steve Martin damnit!
Cons – It’s been a while since he’s hosted and since his last hosting gig his film resume hasn’t exactly been stellar. I completely love the man, but to be honest he’s not as relevant as he used to be.
|#5 – TOM HANKS|
Pros – Is there a more respected statesman for the film industry than this man right now? He is Hollywood nobility. Winner of back to back best actor Oscars, nominated multiple other times, respected and admired throughout the industry and lest we forget a very funny comedic performer and one time stand up artist.
Cons – To be honest I can’t really think of any.
|#6 – DENZEL WASHINGTON|
Pros – Another performer who is a landmark in the movie industry. Multiple Oscar winner and habitual nominee. One of the most recognizable figures in the movies today who also holds heaps of respect from the movie community.
Cons – Even though the Oscars would have their own team of comedy writers to create material for the host to use, I’m not really sure Washington could comfortably work with the material in a virtual one man stand up routine. Could feel awkward.
|#7 – WILL FERRELL|
Pros – Everytime Will Ferrell has appeared on the Oscars he generally steals the show regardless who does the skit with him. He is a legitimate A-list movie star (for comedy at any rate), very popular, would attract an audience and clearly can hold his own in the stand up department.
Cons – Some people may see Ferrell hosting as just a gimmick and write him off. Some (not me) would also see him hosting as “beneath” the Oscars (then why have Chris Rock host it one year?)
|#8 – JON STEWART|
Pros – Stewart has hosted the Oscars multiple times already and so would bring a sense of continuity and perhaps even tradition with him. He seems to have improved from his first time hosting with last year doing a very good job. Very funny, very popular and seems more and more comfortable with the role.
Cons – He’s not a movie personality. yes I know he had bit parts in a couple of films, but there is no debate that he is first and foremost a TV personality. His political satire could be a turn off for some people.
|#9 – JERRY SEINFELD|
Pros – One of the most amazingly gifted comedians of our generation. Quick, witty with a terrific delivery. Could and would make the Oscars a very entertaining program this year.
Cons – Again, like Jon Stewart, my problem with Jerry Seinfeld is that he is first and foremost a TV personality and not really a member of the film world. To nit pick a little bit, he also turned off a lot of people in the Documentary field his last appearance on the Oscars when he was presenting the award for Best Feature Documentary and basically insulted the genre.
|#10 – ROBERT DOWNEY JR.|
Pros – Even with The Soloist being pushed back a year, 2008 is pretty much the year of Robert Downey Jr. He is an insanely hot commodity right now and people love a good comeback and redemption story. He’s handsome, popular and very charismatic.
Cons – This is Robert’s big come back year… but many people will still remember that he disappeared for a reason for a while. There will probably be many people in the Academy that would probably like to see RDJ keep himself on the straight and narrow for a couple of more years before taking a risk on him.
|#11 – TINA FEY|
Pros – Besides the fact that Tina Fey is an absolute comedic genius, has one of the hottest and most awarded comedies on TV right now (30 Rock) and the head writer for the tv institution know as Saturday Night LIve, Tina Fey is simply one of the most likable personalities around and could hold an Oscar crowd with very little trouble.
Cons – Once again… Tina Few, who although has appeared in a couple of movies, is undeniably first and foremost a television personality. Not to mention some people may not be happy with her amazing Sarah Palin impersonations.
|#12 – BEN STILLER|
Pros – In frat terms Ben Stiller is a legacy with family lines in the entertainment industry. But don’t forget he is also an insanely successful filmmaker and actor as well. Very funny man who does solid work in stand up solo situations. Add to that he has a very popular movie out (Tropic Thunder) this year too.
Cons – Stiller has his detractors in the film world. Like Ferrell many people see Stiller as “low brow” and perhaps not a fit for the Oscars. Still, I’d like to see him get a shot.
|#13 – STEPHEN COLBERT|
Pros – One of the most popular figures on TV and an absolute comedic mad man. Stephen Colbert has done hosting duties before for other programs and has always done extremely well in these kinds of situations.
Cons – Again, he’s a TV personality and not a movie personality. Like a few others there would be those turned off by his political material. Another knock against him is that he and Stewart are seen as two sides to the same coin and Stewart has already hosted a couple of times… they’d probably be more likely just to bring Stewart back again.
|#14 – UWE BOLL|
Pros – Say what you will about this man’s filmmaking abilities (or lack thereof), this man has the biggest balls in the film industry and one of the flat out funniest story tellers (in personal I mean… not in his movies). He could get on stage and just tell everyone in the audience why their movies all suck compared to his and that they’re all cowards and then challenge the winners to a boxing match. Come on… admit it… you’d tune in for sure.
Cons – Well… he’s Uwe Boll.
|#15 – ELLEN DEGENERES|
Pros – She hosted once and didn’t release toxic gas to kill everyone.
Cons – What? You mean besides the fact that she sucked on a Jena Jameson level of suck power? This woman was an embarrassment and should never be allowed near this show again. And yes… I did rate her lower than Uwe Boll.