While you can continue to debate the merits of Sunday night’s Oscars hosted by Seth MacFarlane — as we did, breaking down the best/worst aspects, the snubs, how to improve the show, analyzed the winners and more — the bottom line is the Academy got what they wanted by hiring the edgy, younger-skewing, “Family Guy” creator. The ratings for the show were up in 2013 with 40.3 million viewers tuning in, the highest figure since 41.3 million turned on their televisions to see if “Avatar” would win Best Picture. (It didn’t.) Anyway, if the Academy wants to go with the same gameplan next year, they’ll have to find someone else.
MacFarlane took to Twitter late last night, and when asked if he would host the Oscars again, he said: “No way. Lotta fun to have done it, though.” Considering he pretty much exhausted the repetoire of comedy he’s known for (button pushing repetitiveness, while occasionally crossing the line) and indulging in his love of musicals to an almost tedious degree, we’d reckon he accomplished everything he wanted to do, for better or worse. And with many perceiving his stint as sexist and possibly misogynistic, perhaps it’s a good thing he’s taken himself out of the mix.
So who could possibly replace him? Last summer, we suggested some possible hosts for this year’s ceremony, so we borrowed from there and added a couple. We’re assuming that Academy will want to skew young again, and go with a fresh face over some like Billy Crystal, so here’s who we think they should be putting on speed dial. Suggestions of your own? Tell us below.
The actor has practically done two auditions for this already, hosting two successful stints on “Saturday Night Live” that showed him to be funny, engaging and immensely charming. His “Make ‘Em Laugh” number from his first time out in 2009 is still a massive highlight, and it was no surprise to see him on stage on Sunday once again showing his dancing skills. He’d bring both class and charm to the proceedings, without dipping into the more tasteless corners MacFarlane went to. Moreover, he’d easily court that crucial younger demographic no matter what films — arthouse or blockbuster — are nominated.
Amy Poehler/Tina Fey or Will Ferrell/Kristin Wiig
After they kept things lively at the Golden Globes this year, the talk/wishing that Amy Poehler and Tina Fey get the Oscar gig started almost immediately. And it’s hard to argue with that. The pair share great chemistry and are able to poke fun at themselves, as much as the celebrities in attendance (something MacFarlane should have learned). Moreover, especially in a year when an extended gag revolved around seeing breasts, it might be worthwhile for the Academy to make some amends and let the fresh voice(s) of a woman guide the Oscars. On the same spectrum, one of the highlights of the Golden Globes was Will Ferrell and Kristin Wiig presenting Best Actress In A Comedy Or Musical. Again, they had no problem making themselves the center of the joke, and given their taut improv skills, they would be able to roll with anything that might happen during Oscar night.
Seriously, who doesn’t love George Clooney? He’s in the upper reaches of Hollywood royalty, he is the living definition of the classic, classy leading man in an era where there are so few of them, and he’s endlessly funny and charming. It’s not a surprise that social media networks lit up when he effortlessly changed the tone of the Oscar broadcast with this respectful introduction of the In Memoriam segment, but he’s also a total ham, and possible future Jack Nicholson. He’s the kind of personality who will always get a ticket on Oscar night, and a figure who can capture the attention of almost any demographic from your Mom to your kid brother. He matches only Walt Disney in being nominated in the most categories, so why not give him a chance to host the show too?
This is probably a bit more out of the box, but it’s not all that inconceivable when you think about it. While he might not be as popular as Chris Rock was in 2005 when he hosted, there are few standups right now with the kind of name recognition as Louis CK. And there are fewer who are as funny. Tackling almost every creative department of his critically acclaimed “Louie” has shown he can probably bring an interesting twist to the sketch sections of Oscar night, and his wry, biting humor — if properly honed for the audience — could be great for the show. With roles in new films from Woody Allen and David O. Russell, he’s clearly making some major movie inroads, and a hosting gig could cement his arrival in Hollywood.
While we might prefer Jimmy Fallon, basically it will never happen as long as ABC broadcasts the Oscars, as they don’t want hosts from rival late night talk shows taking the stage. That’s basically what happened this year, when Lorne Michaels was flirting with producing, and had tentatively tapped Fallon for the job. But luckily, ABC has a good option all their own, with Jimmy Kimmel. He’s already best buds with bascially every celebrity you can think of, his Oscar night parody trailer is now becoming a tradition, and he’s genuinely funny. Moreover, we think he can toe the line of begin edgy without singing a song about seeing boobs. He hosted the Emmy Awards last year, could we see him take a step up to the Dolby Theater?