Looking for another bad-on-purpose-but-even-so-we’re-going-to-sing-it-for-three-minutes song about boobs at next year’s Academy Awards? Sorry, Charlie — Seth MacFarlane isn’t interested in a repeat hosting performance:
MacFarlane’s decision to follow Ricky Gervais’s awards show lead must be disappointing for the 46 percent of EW readers who think the Family Guy creator did a great job on Sunday — not to mention ABC, which must be pleased with the show’s high ratings (40.3 million viewers, up 3 percent from last year, with an 11 percent increase in adults 18-49). It also means that next year’s hosting field is wide open — though that said, there are a few frontrunners for the gig.
Chief among them are Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, who earned rave reviews for their too-brief hosting stint at this year’s Golden Globes. (Even Shatner thinks they should just host everything!) Either one of comedy’s first ladies could handle hosting duties on her own, but the two of them are simply better together — and with 30 Rock over and Parks and Recreation‘s future uncertain at best, they’d likely have the time to put together one hell of a show.
If Amy and Tina aren’t interested, another SNL alum may be — Jimmy Fallon, who’s successfully made the transition from constantly giggling sketch comedian to failed movie star to beloved Late Night host. Fallon’s genial, gently goofy schtick would be a nice change from MacFarlane’s crassness, and he’s also got the musical chops to incorporate plenty of song-and-dance into the Oscars, if that’s a thing next year’s producers are into. His 2010 Emmys opening still stands as the best awards-show opener in recent memory.
Then again, Fey, Poehler, and Fallon are all NBC talent — and ABC has been grooming its own in-house host for years. Jimmy Kimmel already hosts the network’s annual post-Oscars show every year, and it wouldn’t be difficult for him to transport that act onto the Dolby Theatre’s stage. His dry run as Emmys host last year went well, and he also appeals to the same young male demographic MacFarlane was expected to hook — all of which may make him the top contender.
Next year’s show could also go in an entirely different direction — perhaps by asking newly anointed Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence to step up as host. Lawrence has proven herself candid and charismatic on numerous late-night talk shows while working the awards circuit this year, and she could definitely bring in a young audience. If she’s nervous about shouldering the burden of hosting all on her own, the Academy could help her out by bringing in another well-liked starlet, Emma Stone, whose performance while reading this year’s Oscar nominees hinted that she may be meant for greater things. Franco and Hathaway would have nothing on these two.
And then there’s Neil Patrick Harris, who’s already hosted everything under the sun — and perfected the awards show closing song long before MacFarlane and Kristin Chenoweth gave it a whirl. Harris has to host eventually; why not next year?
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