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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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Albert Brooks
7. Albert Brooks
Why He Could Do It: An old hand getting a new lease of life at present, the veteran comic came back on the radars of many with a stunning performance in "Drive." That was too sinister to get him an Oscar nomination, but he's on warmer, fuzzier territory this year with Judd Apatow's "This Is Forty," which might be a better fit for something like the Oscars. His sense of humor is quite inside-baseball (his tweets suggest he follows the industry closely), which would play well in the room, and he's a little hipper these days than some of his contemporaries like Billy Crystal or Steve Martin.
Why He Might Not: Again, he may figure into an acting race for "This Is Forty." He's also not quite a household name among younger crowds, even after "Drive," and hasn't always sat easily within the industry; he'd gone several years without a movie until last year, and often worked more independently. And we're just not sure if he'd have any interest in doing it, even if the studios did.

Mann Rudd This Is Forty
8. The Judd Apatow Players
Why They Might Do It: Let's not forget, the show is without a producer at this point, and one pick that might help to bring in a younger audience would be Judd Apatow. He's edging ever closer to respectability, has written for the Oscars in the past, and the actors who've featured in his films, from Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell to John C. Reilly and Seth Rogen, have often stolen the show at prior ceremonies. So why not let him assemble the whole gang (or at least a selection of three or four reliable hands) for a group show? It'd help keep things fresh, and mean that those who are too wacky to carry a whole show, like Ferrell (who's not really going to be able to announce an In Memoriam reel, for instance), could tap out for someone like Brooks or Paul Rudd, while also showcasing a younger generation of talent like Lena Dunham or Chris O'Dowd. It certainly has the potential to be the most entertaining show in a long while.
Why They Might Not: Multiple presenters have been used in the past, but never on this scale, and the Academy might feel it represented too much of a plug for the Apatow brand. The Academy doesn't mind a little irreverence, but in small measures, and Apatow and his actors would be unlikely to go in for too much of the whole "celebration of the movies" vibe. Plus, there's a chance that "This Is Forty" will be a player in the awards, which would certainly rule him out.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt
9. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Why He Could Do It: One of Hollywood's most diverse rising stars, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's having a good year with "The Dark Knight Rises" and "Looper," but his skills reach beyond that. One only has to remember his version of "Make 'Em Laugh" on 'SNL' a few years back to know that there's a degree to which he's an old fashioned entertainer, and he did after all start his career with comedy in "3rd Rock from the Sun." It'd help to bring in a younger audience and keep things feel fresh in a year where a lot of the Academy fare looks like it'll skew older.
Why He Might Not: Gordon-Levitt's tied to not one, but two Best Picture contenders ("The Dark Knight Rises" and "Lincoln"). He'd also feel like a slightly odd pick on his own, and might need someone else to help him carry the can (perhaps our final choice below?). But then, let's not forget the last time a brooding, artistically inclined young actor presented the Oscars -- James Franco, who was one of the most disastrous choices in Academy history. We can't see Gordon-Levitt tanking as hard, but we doubt the Academy and ABC taking that risk again any time soon.

Emma Stone
10. Emma Stone
Why She Could Do It: Emma Stone's entirely charming and hilarious bit with Ben Stiller last year was an absolute highlight of last year's otherwise turgid ceremony, to the extent that it felt like an audition to host in coming years. She's Hollywood's sweetheart after "The Help" and "The Amazing Spider-Man" (the former of which likely helps endear her to older, Academy-aged audiences), would be able to pull off both goofy charm and sincerity, and has nailed 'SNL' hosting gigs in the past. Why the hell not?
Why She Might Not: Well for one, the Franco/Hathaway factor might be something of an issue, although pairing Stone with an older co-host might help dispel fears of that. She's also got Cameron Crowe's "Deep Tiki" set to shoot early next year, and that, plus promotional commitments to "Gangster Squad" and "The Croods," could be problematic.

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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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