Okay, okay. We know one awards show just ended and the next major ceremony — the Golden Globes — aren’t until 2015 (and they already have hosts). Do we really need to start the debate over who should host the Oscars again? Yes, we do. Lest we forget, the big wigs at the Academy Awards have chosen rather poorly of late, choosing bland hosts (Ellen DeGeneres) or flat out failures (James Franco) in three of the past four years. It isn’t easy to pick the right guy or gal, so why not lend them a hand by pointing out a few candidates? Here are nine who had us laughing at the Nokia Theater and could do the same at the Kodak.
This one seems like an easy pick considering Kimmel hosted the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards only two years ago, but the late night comedian’s brief time onscreen reminded us what he brings to the table as a host: sharp, “voice of the people” commentary. While not as crass and subversive as Ricky Gervais (who we honestly wouldn’t mind seeing on a big stage again), Kimmel doesn’t shy away from saying what needs to be said. Let’s not forget he’s the man who went viral with “I’m F*cking Matt Damon.” He brings out all the stars for his post-Oscars specials. He’s well-liked by the community and nailed it at the Emmys. Why not give him another go?
While it may seem like a reach to nab the four-time Emmy-winner to host an awards show, the versatile stage performer has shown over the years nothing is off limits as long as it’s done well. He’s taken small roles in serious dramas (“Argo”) and bigger roles in above-average blockbusters (“Godzilla”). He also worked with Emmy producers to create a fun, pre-Emmys publicity push with co-star Aaron Paul and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who he continued to work well with at the actual ceremony. The couple’s casual banter was delivered with precise perfection, especially Cranston’s seemingly off-handed mention of how the two had made out in a scene on “Seinfeld.” That came back later in a big way, and the surprise wouldn’t have been nearly as affecting had he made the line more obvious. Let’s get the Tony-winner up on stage at the Oscars. You know, before he wins one of those, too.
“Hold on Clark Gable.” Without ever hosting so much as an Emmys brunch, Julia Louis-Dreyfus has stolen the show at two straight ceremonies. Last year, she staged a brilliant bit with co-star Tony Hale where he told her what she needed to say during her acceptance speech (just as they do in character on “Veep”), and this year she ran an extended gag with Bryan Cranston where she couldn’t remember who he was despite making out with him on camera in “Seinfeld.” It ended with a bang, and showed the pretend-VP had enough live chops to run a show of her own. (Oh, and she’s certainly not afraid of live comedy, having appeared as the flashback Liz Lemon on “30 Rock’s” second live episode, as well).
You know what you’re getting when you hire Billy Crystal to host an awards show. He’ll (probably) sing, maybe dance a little, and even throw a few unexpected — if polite — zingers. He’s not going to lure in any of today’s youth, but Crystal showed exactly how a host should behave at an elegant affair like the Emmys or Oscars when he provided a touching, memorable tribute to his late friend Robin Williams. Whatever “it” is, Billy most definitely still has it. (The TV Academy has disabled sharing of Crystal’s speech. Watch it in full here)
Okay, let’s just be straight with this: Stephen Colbert bombed Monday night. His routine with his imaginary friend Roscoe didn’t translate on the big stage, and it’s hard to imagine it working just about anywhere. But let’s not throw out the idea of what a Colbert-run awards show would look like based on one bad bit. He’s going to be hosting the Late Show in 2015, and he’s been neck in neck with Jon Stewart for “funniest host” since “The Colbert Report” debuted. He’s had his moments at awards shows before, and his political movements show he’s clearly unafraid to be put in the public eye. Let’s not cast him aside for one mistake.
Another long shot, McCarthy may be able to do the most damage — in a good way — with the least amount of words. The comic actress from “Mike & Molly” (but preferably from “Bridesmaids”) can absolutely wreck an auditorium by saying almost nothing. Her inflection and general ease when insulting, degrading, or accusing someone is all it takes to spur a fit of laughter from onlookers, as evidenced by her hosting stints on “SNL” and her brief appearance during the “Q&A” gag at Monday’s Emmys. Hearing her introductions for presenters is reason enough to hire her as a host.
She may or may not have been high at the 2014 Emmys, but that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t host. If anything, that means she should host. Silverman poked fun at herself (and the rampant media speculation regarding her medicinal hobbies) at the end of her acceptance speech, not only delivering a line perfect for someone who would be high but also intentionally or unintentionally sounding a lot like Rust Cohle, Matthew McConaughey’s character from “True Detective.” The proudly vulgar comedian has always been on top of pop culture and by now has earned the respect of many peers. And for the record, we’re pretty sure she wasn’t high. Not that it matters.
Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson
Speaking of the man, the myth, the legend, Matthew McConaughey and his “True Detective” co-star Woody Harrelson didn’t do too bad a job themselves when presenting the award for Best Actor in a TV Movie or Miniseries. Arriving in coordinating tuxedos reminiscent of two other very funny men, the former fake law partners poked at each other to the glee of fans everywhere. Harrelson did a spot on impersonation of his colleague with a Texas twang, and McConaughey shared some “worldly Woody wisdom.” The two may not be re-teaming for another season of “True Detective,” but they would be a dynamite hosting duo, providing the proper kind of stoned hosting as opposed to the wrong we’ve seen before.
The former “SNL” improv artist was involved with the night’s worst sketch, but he was the best part of it. Weird Al Yankovic has no place on network television in 2014, and his obvious and thin jabs at popular TV fell as flat as the vocal performance. Yet Samberg did his best to save it, pushing his impersonation of King Joffrey on to the next segment when Lena Headey was trying to present and her “son” wouldn’t leave her alone. Samberg has already proven he can handle prerecorded bits ripe for viral consumption, and now we see he’s game to save even the lamest of gags. Sometimes that’s all you need at an awards show — a little gamesmanship from an eager host.