I thought it was kind of crappy for The Hollywood Reporter to release the names of the celebrities the Academy wanted to host next year’s Oscar ceremony before they settled on Neil Patrick Harris, but I suspect it will only inspire Harris to prove he was the perfect choice all along (be more like he was at the Tonys, and less like he was at the Emmys). At any rate, two of the names are not surprising, although one very much was.
Ellen Degeneres was something of an obvious first choice, after hosting last year’s ceremony, which broke ratings records. Ellen, however, declined, saying she didn’t want to commit to a third stint as host. The second choice would’ve been good, too: Chris Rock, who hosted the 2005 awards, brilliantly mocked celebrities, and even took a camera crew into a black neighborhood. The deal with Rock, however, never materialized.
The third choice could’ve been absolutely brilliant: Julia Louis-Dreyfus — who is already so good during awards shows (recall her make-out scene with Bryan Cranston or her moment at the Golden Globes with Reese Witherspoon) — could’ve been a fantastic and different choice.
Alas, JLD declined, which left the Academy but one choice: Perhaps the greatest awards show host in the history of all time (Emmy’s aside), Neil Patrick Harris!