It beats ditch-digging or working as a barista, but hosting the Academy Awards is a job that comes with its own set of challenges. To appease the masses at home, you’re required to take the piss out of the assembled delegation of movie stars in the audience. But you also have to show proper reverence for the night and that audience, lest you come off like some kind of outsider jerk. All this while trying to shepherd all sides through an overlong broadcast whose most worthwhile moments usually come at the very start and the very end. It’s a tightrope, which is why even the best hosts wake up on Monday morning to mixed reviews.
Last night, Chris Rock came out swinging as he took the stage for his second stint as Academy Awards host. He led off with a 10-minute comedic attack on the lack of diversity in Hollywood and never let up. For better or worse. He was dynamic yet divisive, and it was classic Rock, so it’ll be a tough act to follow in 2017. That said, here are a few first-time candidates who might be a good fit if the Academy is willing to think outside the box.