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Oscar Watch: 10 Possible Hosts For The Next Academy Awards

by Oliver Lyttelton
August 15, 2012 12:03 PM
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For a while, it looked like we had the 2013 Oscar host locked down. After a disappointing few years (Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin felt constrained, Anne Hathaway and James Franco were a flat out disaster, and Billy Crystal was kind of creaky last year), it seemed like we'd be getting some fresh blood, and that did seem to have been the case: "Saturday Night Live" mastermind Lorne Michaels was said to have been approached, and was planning on bringing on one of his former stars, "Late Night" host Jimmy Fallon.

But ABC parent company Disney objected to the idea of giving a competitor a free plug and Fallon was ruled out, with Michaels exiting talks soon after, so they're back to square one again. So with the position vacant, we thought we'd use this week's Oscar column to make a few suggestions. Agree? Disagree? Got your own possibilities? Let us know in the comments section below.

1. Hugh Jackman
Why He Could Do It: The most popular Oscar host of the modern era, Hugh Jackman has both old-school entertainer charms (including the ability to pull off a song and a dance), and appeal to the kids thanks to his role as Wolverine (and with a new film with the character coming up in 2013, the publicity reminder would be a boon). His 2009 hosting gig was one of the most enjoyable in recent memory, and after several disappointing years in a row, the Academy are sure to want him back more than ever.
Why He Might Not: It's been suggested that he's basically been top of the list for the last few years and has turned it down for various reasons. Would this year be any different? This year would also be particularly tricky as he's the lead of one of the hotly tipped contenders, "Les Miserables," and may well be in the running for Best Actor. That wouldn't be unprecedented (James Franco was a nominee two years ago for "127 Hours"), but this is much more high profile, and the Academy might see it as favoritism to pick Jackman this time around. He's currently filming "The Wolverine" and would presumably be free after that, but he is also eyeing a return to Broadway for "Houdini" sometime in the year, so that might be an issue too.

2. Tom Hanks
Why He Could Do It: One of the Academy's most beloved favorites, Tom Hanks has always shone when presenting at the ceremony, able to pull off both gravitas and humor. Indeed, he's also one of the best-loved hosts in "Saturday Night Live" history, which is something that should, in theory, be a serious qualification for the job; being able to cope with live TV and pull off wacky moments too.
Why He Might Not: Hanks is first and foremost an actor, and may not be so keen to play host for an evening like this. Indeed, it's been a long time since an A-lister of Hanks' calibre hosted the awards (although one could argue that Jackman is a recent precedent). Maybe his relationship with Lorne Michaels would have encouraged him, but now that Michaels is out, it's less likely. One shouldn't forget that Hanks is also starring in "Cloud Atlas," which could turn out to be an awards contender; it's less of a major speed bump than with Jackman, but could still be an issue if the film builds awards season steam. He's also not the box office force that he used to be: would he really bring in the younger audience that the Academy craves so much? He'll also have promotional duties for "Captain Phillips," which opens in March, looming as well.

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  • FAN JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE | September 22, 2012 10:41 AMReply

    Justin Timberlake to host oscar 2013!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Nara | September 20, 2012 7:49 AMReply

    EMMA STONE! and I agree about pairing her up with an older co-host.. Like Colin Firth! Would be awesome!

  • Chris | August 18, 2012 7:11 PMReply

    I want Triumph the Insult Dog to host the Oscars.

  • cadavra | August 15, 2012 5:00 PMReply

    He won't bring in "the kids," but Nathan Lane has hosted the Tonys a couple of times and is funny, charming-yet-edgy and incredibly quick on his feet. But in The Real World, yeah, my pick would be Ferguson.

  • caro | August 15, 2012 4:32 PMReply

    no host!

  • simon | August 15, 2012 4:12 PMReply

    Jon Hamm !! Perfect choice for me...universal appeal...both from the younger generation and the older one. Also, great when he's hosting SNL...great witt and comic timing. Lots of presence and prestige....also very respected by his peers...could bring out some colleagues he worked multiple time with !
    FOR A DUO OF HOST : Kristen Wiig and Jon Hamm

  • Simon | August 15, 2012 4:13 PM

    Sorry for my english spelling mistake...i'm french

  • Wes | August 15, 2012 3:08 PMReply

    Anybody but Ferguson! But really, I want Adams to do it! I'm in love with her.

  • NPB | August 15, 2012 2:59 PMReply

    I'd like Bryan Cranston to do it, or at least be part of the show. As much as I like JGL, any time he does a presenting or hosting job, he always appears high (and most likely is) and I think that might get a bit tedious with a long show like this!

  • Tina | August 15, 2012 2:41 PMReply

    Is Anne Hathaway blamed because she's a woman? The last time I checked, Anne gave the show much energy it needed, while her co-host looked intoxicated the entire night and wasn't present. So, why is she being blamed for everything?

  • sp | August 15, 2012 2:25 PMReply

    I will watch Albert Brooks do anything. He is brilliant. I am still mad he wasn't nominated for " Drive." Sadly, the very overrated Jonah Hill took his place.

  • JTM | August 15, 2012 3:08 PM

    Albert Brooks !!! Yes !!! He has a sort of "Bob Hope" quality ... I bet he could host year after year and be great.

  • Tim | August 15, 2012 2:19 PMReply

    I don't understand why Anne Hathaway is blamed for hosting the Oscars. She was dealing with a comatose Co-host, bad writing, and a hideously produced show. She gave the show the energy that it needed. Hugh Jackman & Hathaway were magic together when he hosted the Oscars. They have great chemistry and wonderful comedic timing- plus they are live performers.

    Please, no , overrated Emma Stone. Trust me, Emma will give the same over-the -top deer in headlights look. What is Playlist fascination with the limited Stone ? She is likable, but that is it.

  • Jack | August 15, 2012 2:00 PMReply

    Larry David, Will Ferrell, Louis CK, Robert Downey Jr., Kevin Spacey, Stephen Colbert, Ben Stiller, Albert Brooks, Conan O'Brien, Jim Carrey.

    There's so many that could be good, but I want a really great host. How about Lars von Trier? LOL

  • Wes | August 15, 2012 3:09 PM


  • Zack | August 15, 2012 2:18 PM

    Oh my God, CK would be fantastic. It'll never happen, not from an institution that thinks Chris Rock turned out too edgy, but it would still be one for the books.

  • Eoin Daly | August 15, 2012 1:29 PMReply

    Amy Adams would be cool especially if the supporting actress race pans out like we think it will they should try get Anne Hathaway to co-host, could you imagine the comic gold if both loose or one wins. I don't think Anne will host again but she could also co-host with Hugh Jackman and we could get some great duets. All I'm saying is Anne was a good host but it was Franco that ruined that show.

  • Tom | August 15, 2012 1:06 PMReply

    I agree with Amanda that Robert Osbourne would be a good choice. Also pretty much anyone on Playlist's list except for the Apatow players, Adams and Jackman. The latter two are big contenders for nominations this year. It was too awkward when Franco was nominated and a host (but that was the least of his problems).

  • Christian | August 15, 2012 12:51 PMReply

    Craig Ferguson is awesome, but I don't think he fits what the academy would look for. JGL Emma Stone combo would be good. JGL has personality unlike Franco. If you've seen him host the hit record events he does a great job. Plus he has an endless amount of celebrity friends to help out. Emma Stone is like the definition of a great personality. I still think Colbert, and John Stewart would be awesome! I don't really watch their shows, but whenever they're on an awards show they steal the show every time.

  • BEF | August 15, 2012 12:47 PMReply

    Kevin Spacey & Tina Fey
    Louis CK because why not?

  • BEF | August 15, 2012 12:48 PM

    Separate ideas.

  • Arch | August 15, 2012 12:27 PMReply

    I really don't see why Craig Ferguson doesn't have the job already. It's a no-brainer here, he is the one.

  • Amanda | August 15, 2012 12:20 PMReply

    I say get Robert Osbourne from TCM to do it. Yeah yeah it wouldn't bring in young people, but Im tired of trying to please the younger audience let them have the mtv awards. Osbourne knows everything about movies and it would be a least an interesting and informative awards show.

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