After making inappropriate anti-gay comments, action-comedy director Brett Ratner has been replaced as the Academy Awards’ show producer. In his place is another director/producer: Brian Grazer. Ratner’s hand-picked Oscar host also didn’t last long, comedy-icon Eddie Murphy left out of solidarity for his chastised director friend. So who has signed on as this year’s host? Well, in a not-so-surprising turn of events, Oscar hosting staple Billy Crystal is stepping into his singing, movie-parodying shoes to take on the stressful gig.
While this might be an obvious and practical choice, we had some other people in mind for the job. Some of these comedians/actors have taken on hosting gigs before and thus are highly qualified for the show that reaches almost a billion viewers. But others may surprise you.
1. Neil Patrick Harris
Past Qualifications: The Emmys host (2009), The Tony’s host (2009 & 2011), the opening of the Oscar’s (2010)
Let’s be honest, this is going to happen eventually. He’s already done the opening number to the Oscar’s when Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin hosted together in 2010! Plus, Harris has hosted pretty much every other awards show on the planet right down to Spike TV’s Video Game Awards. So why is Harris asked to take on so many MC gigs? It may have to do with his universal appeal starting from his big break on Doogie Howser MD, all the way to him playing a disgusting and hilarious version of himself in the Harold and Kumar movies. Everyone- old and young- love him. But mostly it’s Harris’ charisma that can entertain a crowd. Some people may not think he’s funny (though if you watch How I Met Your Mother, you know he is), but no one can doubt his likability.
2. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
Past Qualifications: Awards Show Presenters, Saturday Night Live Veterans
These two women have provided some of the biggest laughs in several of the biggest award shows. Fey and Poehler are pitch-perfect together; their joint manning of the Weekend Update desk on Saturday Night Live from 2004 to 2006 was not only the first ever two-woman team on Weekend Update, but it was also featured as the best anchor (or anchor team) in Weekend Update history by Entertainment Weekly. So why not let them try their hand at hosting a full awards show? We know for sure that with their collective timing, writing genius and go-for-broke attitude, they could be the perfect choice.
3. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert
Past Qualifications: Jon Stewart- Oscar Host (2006 and 2008) and The Daily Show, Stephen Colbert- The Colbert Report, Awards Show Presenters
Another tag team effort. This time, one of the members already has the difficult hosting experience. Stewart hosted the Oscars twice, once in 2006 (where he was extremely funny but, for some strange reason, not well-received) and once in 2008, right after the Writer’s Strike. For anyone who follows awards shows, Stewart and Colbert have delivered some of the best awards presentations at ceremonies. Take, for example, their presentation of Best Reality/Competition Program at the 2006 Emmys. As you can see, the two fake news anchors play brilliantly off each other. So while Stewart was fun the first two times around, with his protege by his side, Stewart and Colbert would be two of the funniest Oscar hosts ever.
4. Ricky Gervais
Past Qualifications: Golden Globes Host (2010-2011)
The controversial comedian made huge headlines with his brash hosting job at the 2011 Golden Globes. He not only poked fun at several actors but also the Hollywood Foreign Press- the group that gives out the Golden Globes and picks the host. Even though the gig was difficult to love, you have to admit, he definitely made a lasting impression and garnered a pretty good amount of viewers. Yesterday, NBC and the Hollywood Foreign Press have made Gervais the host for the 2012 Golden Globes for the fourth time, which is a brilliant turn of events. But his next gig should really be the Oscars- for the sole reason that he would really shake things up.
5. Jason Segel (and the Muppets?)
Past Qualifications: Great comedy writer- Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) and The Muppets (2011)
Sure, Segel has never hosted anything before- even his presenting gigs have been few and far between. But come on, he’s a talented and hilarious actor with very recognizable roles in cult shows like Freaks and Geeks and universal hits like How I Met Your Mother and Knocked Up. He’s also a ridiculously good screenwriter with his first screenplay becoming a huge hit (Forgetting Sarah Marshall). Also, the main reason Eddie Murphy agreed to host the Oscars in the first place was to give his film Tower Heist more buzz- why wouldn’t the Academy and producers do that with Segel and his new- highly anticipated- film The Muppets? Bonus: If Segel hosted, there would be a guarantee for Muppets throughout the show. So basically it would be Segel and the Muppets hosting together. And not much can really beat that.