Awards season just came to a close. So, naturally, it’s time to give it a rest and wait for winter before we start buzzing about the scar again. Right?
Technically, yes. But that won’t stop us from beating this dead horse just a little more, because let’s face it ― this year’s show was far from smooth sailing, and we know the people behind the scenes have already begun thinking about the 2014 ceremony. That’s why we’re here to help ― starting with who we think the show’s next host should be.
Critical reaction to Seth MacFarlane’s hosting segment was largely negative, and even the Ted creator himself said “no way!” to a return. The two names on everybody’s lips are Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, but the Golden Globes will likely do everything in their power to keep these winsome ladies to themselves. Tina herself said “no way” as well ― which is a bummer.
Hosting the Oscars is kind of a thankless gig. No matter what, people end up complaining about the show, which keeps many potential hosts far, far away. Who wants to flail awkwardly on a stage in a room filled with many of the most beautiful, talented, and powerful people in the world? Not to mention with millions of people around the world watching? Yeah... not that many people.
But hope is not lost. Here's a handful of MCs we think would be fantastic at the job. We can still turn this around, folks!
1. Robin Williams
Seth MacFarlane didn’t work out for a number of reasons, but mainly because he’s primarily a TV guy. The jokes he told were pretty obvious rather than insider-y, and it was clear he didn’t feel too comfortable poking fun at the major stars of the Academy Awards ― they aren’t his peers. (He might’ve been a great choice for the Emmys.)
That’s why Billy Crystal worked so well, at least in his first 463 Oscar hosting duties ― he was a film star, and he understood that world. That isn’t to say TV stars can’t host, as Ellen DeGeneres and Jon Stewart did with some success. Amy and Tina are primarily TV stars, too ― but then, the Golden Globes also honor television, so they fit.
So why not bring in another funny guy with plenty of experience in movies (and an Oscar)? Sure, Robin is kind of the radar these days, and sometimes his shtick is a little manic, but at this point we’d welcome him back… and he’s certainly respected enough for a prestigious affair like the Oscars.
2. Channing Tatum & Jonah Hill
Pairings as Oscar hosts hasn’t gone remarkably well in the past. But still, we can’t help feel like the hosts would do better to have someone to riff off of than standing up on that stage flailing awkwardly alone. Channing proved some surprising comedy chops in 21 Jump Street opposite Jonah, so these two might provide the right mix of hilarity with a dose of a dashing leading man. These hosts would appeal to both guys and girls, for very different reasons. Plus, if things get boring, Channing can always just do the rest of the show without a shirt...
3. Matt Damon & Ben Affleck
We think the Oscars will work best when hosted by someone who's won one (or at least been nominated). It keeps it all in the family, so that there's not just some Oscarless schmuck up on stage making fun of the greatest stars that ever lived. Have you noticed how funny Matt has been on Jimmy Kimmel? And how Ben is suddenly Mr. Winning-Awards-For-Serious-Movies-Set-In-Iran?
As prior Oscar winners, Matt and Ben can keep the show classy but might inject just the right level of humor. They might even focus more on ribbing each other than the nominees. Plus, we want proof that they’re still BFFs. Like, actual televised proof.
4. Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper
We know what you’re thinking ― this seems an awful lot like the Anne Hathaway/James Franco debacle. And that’s true. We assume that Jennifer will be too busy being nominated for Oscars to bother hosting them ― though that didn’t stop James, who was nominated for 127 Hours the year he hosted ― but if everyone loves Jennifer and hates Anne, how could this not come off better? Anne and James’ energies were a total mismatch during their gig, but we already know Jennifer and Bradley can riff off each other ― hence why they’re doing two more movies together.
Plus, Jennifer’s down-to-earth, borderline rude behavior after her win promises plenty of unplanned, off-the-cuff funny moments on stage, versus all the canned humor we normally get. (If she trips? Even better.) The two are some of the hottest rising stars in film, which keeps the Oscars focused on quality movie stars while still nabbing the younger demo ABC has so strived for. Everybody wins!
5. Meryl Streep & Jack Nicholson
Okay, time to dream. Meryl has always proven entertaining in her briefer appearances at the Oscars (often, winning). And crazy old Jack is a staple of the show now. Why not get two of the biggest Oscar legends together to do the honors and make it a super classy affair? Jack can tell a few jokes, Meryl can be her awesome self, and either way we get to see two of the biggest entertainers of all time riff for a few hours. Let’s face it: nothing that Meryl Streep does is a bust.
6. Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, & Quentin Tarantino
Okay, so as a comedic dream team, this isn’t exactly the Marx brothers. But who says the hosts have to be funny? This is the Oscars, not a roast. Half the time those opening monologues fall flat anyway, with all of Hollywood suddenly turned into chirping crickets in the audience. Do we need all that singing and dancing? That time could just as easily be devoted to a few sketches or pre-shot videos with guest performers, leaving the rest of the show to actually, you know, celebrate cinema. (Crazy idea, we know.)
It'd be nice if the hosts were bona fide filmmakers who could bring respectability back to the Academy Awards, and who had actually contributed in a major way to the medium. Who better than to guide us through a night that celebrates movies than some of the greatest directors who ever lived? If Steven, Martin, or Quentin is unavailable (or unwilling), pretty much any acclaimed auteur who’s still making great movies will do.
7. The Cast of Chicago
8. Robert Downey Jr.
A real big box office draw of a movie star hosting the Oscars! It worked out great when Hugh Jackman did it. Robert could probaly kill it, too. And it wouldn't hurt the ratings to have a blockbuster star doing the honors. People like him, see?
9. Joel McHale
Okay, so he’s a TV guy too. But something tells us Joel has the right brand of pop culture humor to kill it at the Academy Awards ― and that something is The Soup. Sure, he’d have to stop mocking reality TV long enough to go after some bigger fish, but certainly he’s up to the challenge. Right?
10. Anna Kendrick
Girl can sing. Girl’s got jokes. (Have you read her tweets?) Girl’s an Oscar nominee. Is she maybe a little too green to host such a big affair? Yeah, maybe. But we’re willing to take a chance on her, anyway, because we’re pretty confident she’d deliver. And there’s no reason they can’t give her some arm candy as co-host, like, say, Ryan Reynolds… or Ryan Gosling… or Morgan Freeman… or, more realistically, her Up In The Air co-star and Oscar darling George Clooney... to banter with. But Anna would probably do all the heavy comedic lifting.
11. Daniel Day-Lewis
Remember that time the super-serious Best Actor winner told funnier jokes than Seth MacFarlane on the Oscars telecast? We would have never seen it coming, but his bit about being approached to play Margaret Thatcher ― while Meryl was approached to be Lincoln ― came off much more naturally than some of the forced gags Seth got into. It's not too likely the reclusive actor could be coaxed out of retirement to host the Academy Awards, but if... the man is almost supernaturally talented. And if he decided to do part of the show as Abraham Lincoln, and another part as Daniel Plainview... well, all the better!
12. Kristen Wiig & Maya Rudolph
Listen up! Are you paying attention? Because, hey, we're really serious about this one. If you can’t get Amy and Tina, get the next best thing! Kristen was Oscar-nominated for co-writing Bridesmaids, and the two were absolutely hilarious together in it. We think they could bring Amy-and-Tina level laughter to the Academy Awards, because, hello... has Kristen ever done anything that wasn’t funny?
Who do you think would make the best Oscar host? Weigh in!
Photos Courtesy of Fameflynet