Is There Anyone Who Can Host The Oscars?

Helaine and I sat on the sofa and watched the Oscars last night. I was excited. I’m a big Seth MacFarlane fan.

As far as show biz is concerned he is the total package. He sings, dances, acts and writes. There’s probably more, but isn’t that enough?

It didn’t take more than a few minutes to feel his discomfort oozing out onto the TV. I could feel him worrying he was bombing.

I can tell you from personal experience: you don’t have to bomb, you only have to worry you are. From there it’s a quick downward spiral toward a self fulfilling prophecy.

Worry about bombing and you will! To a large extent that’s what happened to Seth MacFarlane.

I felt bad. I wanted him to knock it out of the park.

Can anyone succeed hosting the Oscars? Today at least, the answer is, “No.”

Last year Billy Crystal came back for a reprise of his killer shots in the 90s and aughts. The Washington Post’s Hank Stuever said:

“[Crystal] seemed to be to be overseeing a cruise ship dinner show designed to appeal to the over-50 travel club. Early on, it hit the rocks and started to list. Almost everyone drowned.”

The year before it was Anne Hathaway and James Franco. Tim Goodman in the Hollywood Reporter wrote,

“In what could go down as one of the worst Oscar telecasts in history, a bad and risky idea — letting two actors host — proved out in spectacularly unwatchable fashion on the biggest of all nights for the film world,”

You see the trend?

In 2010, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. How could they fail?

How? Does it matter? They just did!

From Alan Sepinwall’s review in the Newark Star-Ledger:

These are two of the funniest men on the planet, but they seemed uncomfortable swapping generic one-liners in the opening monologue, then vanished for long stretches of the show.

There’s no point in digging up David Letterman’s reviews. All you need is, “Uma, Oprah.”

In our era of short attention spans the Oscars telecast chews up hosts and spits them out.

Recently MacFarlane himself noted, as the night goes on there are more and more pissed off losers in the theater. Tough crowd!

I asked my dad for the name of a good Oscar host. “Bob Hope,” he replied without missing a beat. Hope’s last Oscar telecast was 1978.

Expectations were different then, though Hope does have the Oscar’s most memorable line from a host.

“Welcome to the Academy Awards, or, as it’s known at my house, Passover.”

That was 1968, 45 years ago!

So, yeah, Seth MacFarlane didn’t do well. He’s in good company.

Maybe Oscar hosting should be graded on the curve?

11 thoughts on “Is There Anyone Who Can Host The Oscars?”

  1. I agree with your dad. Bob Hope was a class act. That’s why he did the Oscars for years. The Oscars are about giving out well-earned awards, not for silly musical numbers and lousy gags. I’m sure there will be something written into a Family Guy script about this year’s Oscars.

  2. I thought he did well. His bits were mostly funny and his delivery was good.

    I’m not a big fan of Seth MacFarlane. It was nice to see him be who he is and not sanitize himself.

    Some of the complaints were that he was “Crass” and “Rude”? Have these people even SEEN Family Guy? You can’t fault him for bringing the kind of humor that made him who he is today. You dance with the date you came to the party with. The academy brought a guy who decided to sing about the attributes of undressed actresses on film. If they were expecting something else, they hired the wrong guy.

  3. I confess – I don’t watch Family Guy (well I’ve watched here and there but usually groan and turn it off) and all I know about Seth McFarlane I learned from Sunday’s Parade Magazine.
    I don’t think anyone will ever make everybody happy. I don’t even think Bob Hope would these days. They should just cut to the chase – eliminate all the skits and chatter and hand out the awards. But then the networks wouldn’t make their commercial killings would they?

  4. I could not disagree with you more, Seth was funny, whitty and edgy, the latter of which was probably the issue, in front of a bunch of uptight prima donnas…….. Hollywood needs to loosen up and learn to make fun of themselves……. Can’t wait for Ted2!

  5. I think it is not the host but the format for the Oscars that needs major change. They no longer need to put on a 3 hour show (which my DVR cut off before the big awards because it ran over) with a monolog, and lots of singing and dancing original acts. I think the Oscars would be better served these days with a format more along the lines of the Kennedy Center Awards. Give the awards with a 2 minute max original ‘thank you’ speech that would be entertaining, but not necessarily thank everyone from the obstetrician who delivered you to the taxi driver who drove you to the audition and everyone in between. Just my take on the proceedings – but I do think Hugh Jackman (who is probably way to smart to host the show in its present format) would be a good choice!

  6. I think he did good. I also think he is quite good looking
    so that helps he reminds me of Peter Brady ( Brady Bunch)
    I do agree they make the show too long and I am
    sure he can only do so much it seems like it is a no win
    situation. I like Jimmy Fallen but I don’t think they would
    give him the job. Do like other award shows have no host
    Ha ha.

  7. Seth did good, he was Seth. I think that’s just too edgy for the Oscars. Same thing when Letterman hosted, he was Dave Letterman and some people don’t like his style.
    After watching Tina Fay and Amy Poehler pull off a really good Golden Globe’s, makes you wonder if they could pull off the Oscars. I think they could. Only complaint I heard after the Golden Globe awards is they weren’t on screen enough.

  8. I gave up on watching the Oscars decades ago.Mostly because the movies themselves weren’t that great (in my view).
    I also think the format needs an overhaul. The song and dance numbers don’t resonate today. They were great in the days where there were variety shows on TV and stage acts that featured such things but you just don’t see those in entertainment today. TV is full of detectives investigating various types of murders.
    I have it, maybe a ‘murder mystery’ played out during the course of the show, starting with a body on stage and clues sprinkled throughout the broadcast, culminating with the typical confession and arrest etc at the end after the last award was presented.
    Who’s on board fro THAT one?

  9. I don’t watch the Oscars anymore because I’m usually preparing for work on Monday. But I would drop everything if Christopher Walken hosted. The worse he is, the better he is. He’d just read off the prompter without any attempt to conceal it.

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