I didn’t bother weighing in on last week’s scuttlebutt that Jimmy Fallon was in talks to host the 85th annual Academy Awards, mostly because I was on the road in Texas, but also because I just couldn’t see it happening. While ABC may not have veto rights on the Academy bringing in two NBC stars (the other being “Saturday Night Live” producer Lorne Michaels) for its Oscarcast, I still don’t know that you’d want to ruffle the relationship all that much.
Also, with Hawk Koch newly minted as AMPAS president, it’s unlikely he’d want to carry on something brought in by exiting president Tom Sherak. Surely he’ll have his own ideas. I suppose it’s still possible Michaels could produce (along with former AMPAS president Sid Ganis, who the LA Times reported last week was also in the mix), but one giant commercial for “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” always seemed to me like it would be a bit of a stretch (not to mention a bad creative approach, at least in my opinion).
Well, it turns out the instinct was right. Though no reasoning was offered (and indeed, the subject seemed to be dealt with very swiftly), Fallon said on “The Today Show” in London this morning that it won’t happen. “No, I’m not going to do the Oscars,” he told Matt Lauer. “I’m honored to be asked by the Academy to host the Oscars but it’s not my year.”
So with that, and with a new president currently pondering these issues as you read, it’s time to revisit the annual hosting sweepstakes.
I’ve always been of the mind that TV hosts just don’t work out. There’s something about the atmosphere generated that lessens the proceedings a bit for me. So while Ellen DeGeneres and Jon Stewart, etc., may have their champions, I was never keen on those telecasts.
I’ve always liked it when movie people were tapped. I thought Hugh Jackman was fantastic in one of the best Oscarcasts in recent memory (2009’s Bill Condon-directed spectacle). That show brought a lot of love for “Slumdog Millionaire” and director Danny Boyle, who recently rode the bull that is the Olympics opening ceremonies and who Guy has noted would be an inspired pick to produce the Oscars, too. So with that in mind, I’ve always gone to one name when asked who would make a delightful host: Kevin Spacey.
But that’s me. What about you? Rifle off those names and let’s see if we can get a big pool of possibilities together for Mr. Koch and company to browse through.
NBC’s embed code for the Fallon segment is impossible. So just go and check it out here if you like.