The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has yet to find anybody pristine enough to host their little awards show and it’s getting down to the wire. According to The Hollywood Reporter, there have only been 2 times in Oscar history where there hasn’t been a host in place by January 1. Jon Stewart was announced as host on January 5, 2006 and Whoopi Goldberg‘s 4th time hosting the show was announced on January 7, 2002. So there’s still a few days left before a new record is set, but as Kevin Hart proved, even if they pick someone today there’s still the chance that our network of citizen detectives will find out that, say Tom Hanks, once ate a baby on a dare. Then they’d be out a host and we’d never get to see Bosom Buddies rebooted for Netflix.
Unsurprisingly, THR thinks Tom Hanks would be a good candidate because he has a good relationship with the Academy having once been on the board of governors and is still “heavily involved in Academy affairs”. But it sounds like he’d be doing it as a favor and has not expressed any interest in the gig. He’s probably had an open invitation for decades that he’s never accepted. But Tom’s just the kind on uncontroversial, universally adored, non-threatening guy that old people will recognize that they’re looking for.
What is known is what the Academy and ABC, which broadcasts the Oscars, do not want. They do not want someone who is socially divisive (especially after the Hart debacle), having concluded that politically-outspoken hosts have contributed to the show’s ratings declines in recent years; and they do not want someone who primarily appeals to older viewers, who are likely to watch the show regardless of who hosts.
THR says that means past hosts like Billy Crystal (who apparently did blackface in 2012 as Sammy Davis Jr. in an opening montage, seen above with Justin Bieber in a cameo), Alec Baldwin (who regularly does orangeface), Seth MacFarlane (“titties, amiright?!?!”), and Chris Rock (“Asians, amiright?!?” See also) are now considered too hot for primetime. Also, the host can’t have any close ties with a competing network or another awards show. Everybody else is either too old, too fat, too skinny, too white, too ethnic, too feminine, too masculine or simply has no interest in doing it. That only leaves one real choice and I think it’s the right one. Oscar for Oscars.
The Rottenest Picture
— Oscar the Grouch (@OscarTheGrouch) March 3, 2018