Who should host the Academy Awards…

Posted by on February 28, 2011

I think most people would agree that the Academy Awards last night were a train wreck.  It wasn’t for a lack of good movies – one could argue that this was a very strong year for films.  No, the show last night was terrible, and much of the blame can be set squarely at the feet of the hosts - Anne Hathaway and James Franco.

Actually, Anne Hathaway was not too bad.  She, at least had a shred of energy and was trying (her short stint at singing was quite good).  Franco, on the other hand, looked like an extra in Night of the Living Dead.  Understand, I am a huge James Franco fan.  But I’m not sure who was more bored – Franco, or the billion people watching him.

A good Oscar host needs one of two things (and preferably both):  Spontaneous wit, and the ability to sing and dance.  Hathaway showed a little of the latter, and Franco showed neither. Think back on your favorites and you would agree that they all had some of either or both – Billy Crystal, Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, Steve Martin, etc.

That being said, here is a short list of qualified candidates for future Academy Awards shows that would be a quantum step up from this year’s weak effort:

Tina Fey – She can write, she is a comedian, and she’s beautiful.

Conan O’Brien – OK, so he’s not a movie star.  But so what.  He would bring a sense of spontaneity and professionalism that the awards are lacking.

Steve Carell – He’s succeeded in pretty much everything he has touched.  He would bring the hipness that the awards show desires.  And he starred in the remake of Get Smart, so…

Jimmy Fallon - He has had time to cut his teeth on his own talk show.  He’s funny, hip, and talented.  And he would bring in the younger demographic that this year’s show was supposed to bring in.

Justin Timberlake – Like him or not (and most people do), he is very talented and is the epitome of what James Franco is not – high energy, spontaneous, and a song and dance man.

If you see any common thread in the list above, it is that they all have experience in a variety show format (SNL, The Daily Show, Late Night).  Any other ideas?  Please share share them so we can work together and fix this important (and broken) show.