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Who Should Host the Oscars? Finding the Next Great Academy Award Host.

Updated on July 7, 2011

Oscar Night in Hollywood

The Oscars, or also known as The Academy Awards, is the biggest night in Hollywood. Every year stars of the big and small screen, actors, directos and producers, attend the ceremony to rub shoulders, and applaud and celebrate the best acting, directing and film production from the past year.

Gold statues, or Oscars, are presented for Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, Best Movie and many other categories and to even be nominated is considered the highest honor in movies.

There is a lot of hooplah surrounding the show, but in the end, it can be one of the more entertaining television programs of the year with the right host.

Since the first Oscars in 1929, the show has featured many great hosts, and many, um, not so great hosts (David Letterman).

And the Winner is ...

Who Was the Best Oscars Host?

See results

The Best Oscar Hosts

Renowned comedian and performer, Bob Hope held the position for most of the 1950s and 60s, sometimes solo or paired with other classic comedians.

In the 1970s, legendary late-night talk show host Johnny Carson stood front and center amongst Hollywood juggernauts and stole the show.

The last great Academy Awards host was Billy Crystal, who held the gig for most of the Oscars in the 1990s. He last hosted the ceremony at the Kodak Theater in 2003 and claimed it would be his final time.

I'd Like to Thank the Academy


The Sharp Decline ... Ouch!

In the years since, there has been no one consistent host and really none that stood out. Jon Stewart of The Daily Show hosted the Oscars in 2005 and 2007, but has not been asked to return, perhaps due to his status as a political pop icon.

Steve Martin was the host in 2000, 2002 and in 2009 with Alec Baldwin, but has yet to make consecutive appearances and might not appeal to younger audiences tuning into the Academy Awards on ABC.

There have also been some odd choices since Billy Crystal, such as Hugh Jackman in 2008 or the 2011 Oscar hosts, James Franco and Anne Hathaway. None of the three are particularly known for their comedy or have ever hosted other shows or events in their career.

It is starting to seem as though the Oscars are grasping at straws in their search for a host.

Now Hiring: Academy Award Host

Therefore, I have decided to help the Academy Awards find their next signature host. Someone that can take the stage at the Kodak Theater for the next five to 10 years with humor and a presence that appeals to a wide audience.

If I were in charge of selecting the next host of the Oscars, these would be my top five candidates for the job:

Is Joel McHale the Next Best Host? Maybe.


5) Joel McHale

Best Known For: The Soup , Community

Born in Rome, but raised in Seattle, Joel McHale has a rare combination of talents that would suit the position well.

McHale has experience as a host in his role on The Soup on E! The show is a great mix of parody and commentary on current events and pop culture.

Many of the jokes and one-liners McHale has become known for on the The Soup would transfer well into the opening monologue during the Academy Awards.

While he might be somewhat more obscure than your typical Oscars host, he has appeared in films like Spider-Man 2 , Lords of Dogtown and The Informant! .

Joel McHale has recently hit it big as the star of the NBC comedy Community .

Not your typical sitcom, Community often features the actors of the show in over-the-top scenarios involving dance-offs and singing contests that stretch the actor's abilities.

If you remember the annual song-and-dance routines by Billy Crystal to open the Oscars in the 1990s, you could see where Joel McHale's experience from Community could be helpful.

Perhaps most importantly to marketers and ABC, McHale appeals to the younger demographic that the show is looking to reel in with recent hosts like James Franco and Anne Hathaway.

When it Comes to the Oscars, Conan Might Monkey Around


4) Conan O'Brien

Best Known For: Conan, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, The Tonight Show, The Simpsons

If The Tonight Show debacle in 2010 told us anything, it is that America loves Conan O'Brien.

His banishment from the late-night NBC talk show stirred the "I'm with Coco" movement on Facebook and the internet from the 20 to 40-year old demographic and a 30 city tour, "The Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour," where he and friends performed live to sold out crowds.

Obviously, O'Brien has cut his teeth as a host with his talk shows Late Night with Conan O'Brien and his most recent show, Conan, on TBS. In 2002 and 2007, he hosted the 58th Primetime Emmy Awards and co-hosted the show in 2003. To say he has experience would be an understatement.

He also has been a head writer for Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons (in the early years when The Simpsons was funny). Whether he would participate in the writers room for the Academy Awards is questionable, but if he did, you could expect a pretty hilarious monologue.

The humor of Conan O'Brien can be a little over-the-top, with character like Triumph the Insult Comic and The Masturbating Bear, and may not appeal to the 50+ demographic, but once again, if the Oscars are hoping to target a new, younger audience, there may be no better way to start than with Conan O'Brien.

The Oscars New Gal?


3) Tina Fey

Best Known For: 30 Rock , Saturday Night Live , Mean Girls , Sarah Palin

Obviously, unlike anyone else on this list, Tina Fey is a woman. What does that matter? Well, the target audience for the Oscars is widely considered to be female due to the handsome stars and extravagant clothing worn by attending celebrities.

While men do watch the show, a successful woman like Tina Fey hosting the Oscars could be a big hit for the Academy Awards demographic.

Although she has never had her own talk show or hosted an award show before, Fey did get her start in improvisational comedy and on Saturday Night Live as a writer and weekly performer for the Weekend Update section of the show. So, it is likely she would be comfortable on stage at the Oscars.

Tina Fey is seen weekly on NBC on 30 Rock where she has won multiple Golden Globes and Screen Actor Guild Awards for her role as Liz Lemon, a head writer and producer for a SNL type show on NBC.

She has also appeared in many feature films, including Mean Girls , which she wrote, Baby Mama , Date Night , Megamind and the soon-to-be released Mommy & Me with Meryl Streep.

In 2008, Tina Fey made headlines with her spot-on impersonation of political figure and Vice President candidate, Sarah Palin. Fey appeared weekly on SNL in the role and is likely to continue the character throughout Palin's popularity in the media.

After just turning 40 in 2010, Fey has many years ahead of her in the spotlight and perhaps the Oscars, the brightest light of them all, should be the next step in her career.

What About Ben?


2) Ben Stiller

Best Known For: Meet the Parents , Night at the Museum , There's Something About Mary

Like many others on this list, Ben Stiller has a long history in sketch comedy and spent time with Saturday Night Live amongst other improvisational groups.

He hosted his own show, The Ben Stiller Show on MTV and FOX in the early 1990s where he made parodies of famous actors, celebrities and films. While the show itself didn't enjoy much success, it was his ticket to bigger and better things.

Over the last 10 years, Stiller has become a major movie star with mega hits like There's Something About Mary , Meet the Parents , Night at the Museum and Madagascar .

While Ben Stiller has never hosted an award show on a major network, he did host The MTV Movie Awards in 1996 and The MTV Music Awards in 1998. He made several other appearances on both shows throughout the 90s.

Also, Stiller is no stranger to the Oscars as he often presents an Academy Award every year. Usually, he is one of the more colorful and comedic presenters and in 2009 he came out dressed as a character from James Cameron's Avatar to the crowd's delight.

At only 45 years old, Stiller is the perfect age for the Oscars audience. His comedy appeals to all generations, including children, teenagers and senior citizens.

Carell is the Top Choice


1) Steve Carell

Best Known For: The Office , The 40-Year Old Virgin , Bruce Almighty , Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Like Tina Fey, Conan O'Brien and Ben Stiller, Steve Carell appeared at The Second City improvisational comedy troupe in Chicago as well as in multiple episodes of SNL .

His early career was filled with sketch comedy appearances on shows such as The Daily Show and the short-lived The Dana Carvey Show . Often times, Carell makes cameos on similar shows and has performed in sketches for The ESPYs, The MTV Movie Awards and The Academy Awards.

Most know Steve Carell for his Golden Globe award-winning role as Michael Scott on The Office . The show has been a hit for half a decade now and has sent the career of Carell through the roof. In 2010, Carell announced that the 2010-2011 season of the NBC sitcom would be his last, leaving more time for movie roles and perhaps hosting the Oscars? Who knows?

He has been seen in blockbuster movies like The 40-Year Old Virgin and Bruce Almighty along with critically acclaimed films such as Dan in Real Life and Little Miss Sunshine . Carell has also appeared alongside Tina Fey in the 2010 comedy, Date Night .

With such a wide range of roles, Steve Carell is a Renaissance Man whose comedy and style appear to a wide range of audiences.

Slightly older than some on this list, Steve Carell is 48 years old and in the prime of his career. As one of the more notable faces on television today, who could be better to host the Oscars than Steve Carell?

How About You?

Who would you like to see as the next host of the Oscars? There are a lot of young up-and-coming comedians that could be on a lot of lists, and I'm sure there are many I didn't think of.


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    • bogerk profile image

      bogerk 7 years ago from Midwest

      I hadn't thought of Jamie Foxx, but I like that idea a lot. Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      Ginger 7 years ago

      My all-time fav host was Whoopi, and I'd like to see her again. My 2nd choice would be Jamie Foxx. Tina Fey would be good too.