Who should host the Oscars?

Posted by · 4:39 pm · October 24th, 2008

Kevin SpaceyThis morning I linked to our friend John Campea at The Movie Blog who offered up a list of 15 possibilities for host of this year’s Oscar festivities.  Producers Bill Condon and Larry Mark are hard at work putting the show’s particulars together (when Condon has a few moments away from that Richard Pryor biopic he’s been writing), and sooner or later, an announcement will be made.

I agree with a few of Campea’s suggestions.  George Clooney, for instance, is an inspired pick, the charmer of Hollywood without an enmy in the world — well, except for McCain supporters, I guess.  I also like the choice of Robert Downey Jr., though in 2008, it’s almost TOO on the nose.  Rounding out the big names that make sense, I’d be on board for Tom Hanks as well, always adept at working a crowd.  But Steve Carrell seems to lack the right prestigious “umph,” while Denzel Washington would prove to be too cardboard-stiff, I’d wager.

We’ve been there and done that with Steve Martin, Ellen Degeneres and Jon Stewart — new blood would be preferable.  And Steven Colbert would be a false echo of Stewart’s attempts.  Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller — too silly.  Tina Fey — too one-note.  Jerry Seinfeld — too snooty.  And Ricky Gervais was a manifested pipe-dream from the start.  But I’d absolutely be on board if Condon and Mark want to hand over emcee duties to Uwe Boll.  Who wouldn’t??  But you might as well toss in Kelsey Grammer in full-blown Beast make-up as a co-host at that point.

So the question remains: Who should be the host?  Who has the right amount of showmanship to off-set his dramatic faculties and keep the even keel a show like this needs?  Who has the right comedic reserve to tap into when necessary and who would absolutely light up the stage with his consistent determination to perform?

One man: Kevin Spacey.

Think about it.  The guy knows how to put together a production.  He knows how to carry the heavy weight of an undertaking like the Oscars.  His work managing the Old Vic in London should attest to that.  But what’s more, he’s the right mixture of jazz hands and well-postured presentation that an Oscar host needs to be.

That’s my pick anyway.  I could see someone really outside the box being a good fit for Condon and Mark, like Sacha Baron Cohen or Jamie Foxx, or perhaps Will Smith or Hugh Jackman (who might find himself in the derby with “Australia”) would work.  If I were to double dare Condon right now, however, I’d say call up Tony Todd and dig out the Candyman costume.  The Oscars are always a nightmare of sorts anyway, might as well embrace it.

Have your say.  Who would be the perfect Oscar host this year?

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19 responses so far

  • 1 10-24-2008 at 5:15 pm

    The InSneider said...

    Gotta say, this would be one hell of a choice. Nice thinking Kris! Spacey’s a busy guy with his Old Vic duties but if he could get away for 6 weeks or so, he sure would rock the Kodak.

  • 2 10-24-2008 at 5:16 pm

    N8 said...

    Rob Lowe and Snow White! ;)

    All kidding aside, I’d have the most faith in Clooney. But I’d also be interested in watching Seinfeld’s take on it, more out of curiosity than desire.

  • 3 10-24-2008 at 5:23 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Billy Crystal. The guy hasn’t hosted the Oscars in FOUR years, and it’s about time we get back the greatest host we’ve ever had.

    Spacey sounds like a great choice as well.

  • 4 10-24-2008 at 6:36 pm

    Patrick said...

    Sacha Baron Cohen.

  • 5 10-24-2008 at 7:04 pm

    Jon said...

    I personally would love Carrell.

  • 6 10-24-2008 at 7:08 pm

    par3182 said...

    Emma Thompson

  • 7 10-24-2008 at 9:30 pm

    Derek 8-Track said...

    Billy Crystal, Steve Martin, Whoopi Goldberg, John Stewart, David Letterman, Hulk Hogan, or Ellen DeGeneres

  • 8 10-25-2008 at 3:59 am

    Guy Lodge said...

    I’ve always thought George Clooney would be the perfect choice. Witty, stylish, cool under pressure, has real Hollywood stature and is loved by just about everyone. Love the Spacey idea, too.

    I don’t know why so many people assume the host has to be a comedian. It just needs to be someone who can keep a show running and sharply deliver good material.

  • 9 10-25-2008 at 4:20 am

    Markku said...

    Sapcey’s a great choice, not a comedian but definitely a showman. Pity he won’t be on anyone’s mind but ours.

  • 10 10-25-2008 at 5:24 am

    Jamie said...

    I still watch that amazing clip of him on Inside the Actor’s Studio going through his insane repertoire of impressions whenever I need a laugh…

    Wish he had another great film role coming up.

  • 11 10-25-2008 at 9:22 am

    Jonathan Spuij said...

    Anyone that isn’t scripted.

  • 12 10-25-2008 at 1:49 pm

    Patrick F. said...

    Spacey would actually work quite well. He was on BBC Radio 5 Live with Mark Kermote and Simon Mayo a few weeks ago and he was genuinely charming.
    My vote would be for Conan O’ Brien. He has a “safe” thing about him that recent hosts like Ellen and John Stewart and Chris Rock certainly didn’t have. He’s well liked in the industry and knows when to play nice and when to hit hard.

    Ricky Gervais seems to be a frontrunner, but I don’t think the producers would find him “risky” after how much time his sketch on the Emmy’s took up.

    More than anything, they need someone that will give them ratings, like an Oprah, Steve Karell, Tina Fey, or George Clooney. I think a George Clooney Oscar ceremony would make everybody feel good.

  • 13 10-25-2008 at 2:05 pm

    colby said...

    i dig the spacey idea…he’s classy but funny…clooney’s cool…hugh jackman could be fun…
    i think jon stewart was inspired and would always love to see him again…
    of course ricky gervais would be top-tier…

    to throw a couple other names in the hat:
    conan obrien? was great with the emmy’s
    jim carrey? more mature, great improv

  • 14 10-25-2008 at 2:44 pm

    Evan said...

    What about Jimmy Kimmel? He was super funny at the Emmy’s and he always seems to do well at awards shows when presenting.

  • 15 10-25-2008 at 6:57 pm

    K.K. said...

    I would like a restrained and manic Robin Williams at the same time!!

  • 16 10-26-2008 at 4:48 am

    W. said...

    Tracey Ullman.

  • 17 10-26-2008 at 5:43 am

    Matt G. said...

    Gervais. His bit was one of the funniest at the Emmy’s, time consuming or not.

  • 18 10-28-2008 at 12:36 am

    nauval said...

    Meryl Streep.
    Anyone recalled her improvised lines w/ Lily Tomlin a few years back when they presented Honorary Oscar to Robert Altman?