Monday, September 5, 2011
Who should host the Oscars?
It's about that time of year again, when the Academy names their host for the year's upcoming Academy Awards' Ceremony. Rumors are flying that producer Brett Ratner is wanting to play up the comedy route this year with offering the gig up to Eddie Murphy. Personally, I don't hate this, but neither do I like it. Murphy is often funny, and he will definitely be a welcome departure to the past two year's bad slate of hosts (Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin and James Franco & Anne Hathaway), but Murphy seems to lack the class that one typically wants of their Oscar host.
The thing is, a good Oscar host is more than just a person who can be funny or deliver the song-and-dance routine, but they are someone who has the ability to command a stage and exude the class that is associated with the classiest of all awards shows. The Oscars are a celebration of Hollywood, where it has been, where it is now, and where it is going, and the best Oscar hosts tend to be the ones that embody that Hollywood charisma that is reminiscent of those from the Old Hollywood. Great hosts like Bob Hope, Billy Crystal, even Ellen Degeneres (reminding me of Lucille Ball) and Hugh Jackman. They had what it took, and so I'm gonna offer up my own thoughts on who should host the Oscars. As we learned last year, you just can't toss someone up onstage because they're funny people, you have to have more than that, and these choices do I believe.
Okay, I know this is a repeat, but he did such a fantastic job two years ago hosting the big show. With his song-and-dance routine and natural charisma, he headlined an Oscar ceremony that was entertaining, and actually felt as if there was an emcee and not just someone that popped up on stage to deliver a stupid political joke to segue into the next award. Jackman used his broad skills as an actor and showman to make the show feel alive and classy, something I would love to see him do again.
I've mentioned him before, but I really think Tom Hanks has what it takes to be a good Oscar host. First off, he's just flat-out likable, so likable that he is charming in the way that Jimmy Stewart was. But unlike Gary Cooper or Jimmy Stewart, Tom Hanks has a killer sense of humor. Just watch his appearances on any late night talk show for proof. Give him some freedom to let him run wild, and his combo of self deprecating humor and humbleness will win an audience over. Not to mention, Tom Hanks is one of the few modern day actors who I actually feel could have made it in the Golden Age of Hollywood, and it is simply because he is a class act. A class act who is loved by Hollywood, film fans, and everyone else not included above.
All right, this could get ugly, but Robin Williams truly is one of the funniest men alive. Not just that, he is a classy movie star in his own right, but his background in stand up makes him a prime candidate to host the show. Now, how can this get ugly? Have you watched his stand up? He is dirty. Real dirty, and often political, two things that tend to irk me in comedy, but if Williams were to stay away from such things and deliver a family friendly atmosphere, he can't be beat. He always kills it whenever brought onstage at these shows, usually upstaging the host, so let him go for it, I say, and see what happens. I mean the guy could probably make a joke about a chicken crossing the road actually be funny.
Yes, the Muppets. Who embodies everything we want out of an Oscar host more so than Jim Henson's creations? They sing, they dance, they tell jokes, and they're charming, lovable, and know how to command the variety show style of an award show (look no further than The Muppet Show for proof). Kermit could emcee. Fozzie could be his comedian wing-man. Miss Piggy could constantly be trying to break into the act. And the two old geezers in the balcony could actually be in the balcony cracking jokes about the latest award winners. The thing is, the Muppets are also seen as classy. Critics love them. The film industry love them. I mean, why else do so many big name stars line up to get a cameo spot in a Muppet movie? The Muppets would create a show that is both original and entertaining, making an Oscar ceremony unlike any other. Waka, waka!