Well the Oscars are on Sunday and all eyes are on host Chris Rock. In any given year, even if that film you slept through wins Best Picture or that actor whose face you can’t stand wins Best Actor, how much you enjoy and eventually how fondly you remember the show can be determined by how good the host is.
It’s one thing to come out and do a big number or tell a few jokes, but someone who can sustain that level of entertainment even as people lose interest during the Short Film awards is another thing. Just last year we saw Neil Patrick Harris open with a terrific musical number only for the rest of the show to plummet with a resounding thud.
So with that in mind, myself and Rachel Cushing each give our top 10 picks for who would make our dream Oscar hosts. So let’s go back and forth with 5 at a time and take a look.
10. Patton Oswalt
At first glance, he may just be another funny, well liked comedian. But what sets him apart is he really knows his movies (he even released a book about it), even movies the obscure Oscar voters don’t know about. How great would it be if he dropped a Bone Tomahawk reference in his opening monologue?
9. THE ROCK
Because he is The Rock and The Rock is incapable of not being a perfect human specimen.
8. Seth Macfarlane
Yes, I would like to see him come back. I think he brought enough of an old fashioned quality in his song and dance numbers to offset his more modern comedic sensibilities and esoteric references that the Oscars are not used to seeing. He was able to be fresh and unapologetic without being rude.
7. Emma Thompson & Helen Mirren
Come on. Think about it. You’re welcome.
6. Joseph Gordon-Levitt & Anna Kendrick
Both young, talented, relevant, funny performers who can crack a joke as well as sing and dance, and they had good chemistry in 50/50 that I think they can take even further. They can do what James Franco and Anne Hathaway failed to do.
Honorable Mentions: George Clooney, Lin Manuel Miranda, and The Wilson Brothers (Luke and Owen)
10. Steve Carell
I think Carell has only gotten better as the years have gone by, proving that he is an actor with range and vulnerability (personally, I thought he and Ryan Gosling were the best parts of The Big Short). The things that would make him a great Oscar host, however, have always been there: his almost shy likability and willingness to go the extra mile for a laugh (“Kelly Clarkson!”).
9. Chris Pratt & Anna Faris
This is my really “out there” pick, but I like it because this married couple can bring a lot of self deprecating humor to the table. Pratt’s star has skyrocketed since Guardians of the Galaxy and Jurassic World, but he still seems quite humble and likable. With his comedic background and Faris’ brilliant smart-ditz schtick, I see some fun and happy-go-lucky potential with them as hosts.
8. Robert Downey Jr.
At first I thought I should find someone to pair him with, but then realized that Iron Man really does work better alone. Downey is, quite simply, cool. And yet he’s also no stranger to the idiosyncrasies of Hollywood, so I think he would be smart, and incredibly wry, as the person who gets to both honor and take the piss out of the film industry.
7. Channing Tatum & Emma Stone
I am a Tatum convert. Guilty as charged. But I argue that he’s pretty much perfect for the Oscars…if paired with the right person. I finally landed on Emma Stone (after considering Jonah Hill and Sarah Silverman) because I think underneath her girlish charm, she’s got some bite (see her in Easy A) that would balance out Tatum’s adorable humbleness (and surprisingly good comic timing). I think this pair could succeed where James Franco and Anne Hathaway failed because they wouldn’t feel like they’re trying too hard (or not hard enough). Plus they can both dance.
6. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler
Come on, you knew this dynamic duo was going to show up on one of our lists! They are three for three as Golden Globes hosts, mainly due to their impeccable sense of timing, highly intelligent jokes, and better chemistry than some of the hottest Hollywood couples out there!
5. Will Ferrell & Jack Black
Simply because of that moment. They’ve been and still are two of the funniest performers working today, they clearly have chemistry, and they turned a typical “pee break” award into one of the highlights of the night. More please.
4. Keegan-Michael Key & Jordan Peele
They should host next year because their upcoming movie Keanu will certainly be collecting trophies left and right. Another set of guys who are so funny and so fresh and who clearly love movies (they even centered an entire sketch around Gremlins 2), people might tune in just to see what they do. I’m sure they would have video segments like their sketches, but even when they’re being themselves or addressing a crowd, they still crush it.
3. Elizabeth Banks & Paul Rudd
Who doesn’t love Elizabeth Banks and Paul Rudd? We know they’re both gifted comedians, we know they’re both beloved celebrities, we know they both have chemistry together from various projects, and they’re both so so nice to look at. Plus there’s nothing better than Elizabeth Banks in “star mode.”
2. Justin Timberlake
Let’s just address the fact that there would probably be a Jimmy Fallon cameo and get to J. Tim. He is such an obvious choice that I’m a little surprised he hasn’t done it yet. The dude can sing til the angels come home, he can dance an earthquake into submission, and he’s way funnier than a former member of a boy band has any right to be. He would rock the shit out of that Oscar stage.
1. Hugh Jackman
How has he not hosted every single year since 2009? He had a killer opening number (which I still watch every so often), he performed a medley tribute to musicals with freaking Beyonce, and he was consistently funny, charming, and captivating throughout the night. He is one of the most gifted and versatile performer perhaps of all time and easily one of the best Oscar hosts ever. Bring him and his retractable claws back to the Oscar stage (hell, you could even give Anne Hathaway a second shot as a co-host, they have great chemistry and she deserves it).
5. James Corden
The new Late Late Show host (and mind behind the delightful Carpool Karaoke segment that is taking Youtube by storm) is just so flipping adorable! I think he would fit the mold of, say, an Ellen Degeneres – someone who isn’t afraid to be downright silly in that “aw shucks” way that is as relatable as it is funny.
4. Kristen Wiig & Bill Hader
This is the new SNL alum dream team that has the chops to both charm and skewer the film industry on its most illustrious night. Their chemistry is amazing (see The Skeleton Twins if you haven’t already) and I think there is enormous potential for them to bring a lot of energy and comedy to The Oscars. On a side note, I could also see Wiig hosting with her Bridesmaids (and upcoming Ghostbusters) co-star, Melissa McCarthy, another smart and ballsy comedienne that could bring a blast of fresh air to the show.
3. Stephen Colbert
Like Jon Stewart before him, Colbert has built a reputation around his intelligence and deadpan, not to mention blistering, comedic take on politics. His recent transition from Comedy Central to late night talk show host has broadened his fan base as well as the types of things he can do as a comic and entertainer. All of that combined with the fact that he is pretty much a giant nerd (which is why I personally love him!), puts him in a great position to take on The Oscars. I would also suggest bringing Stewart and new Daily Show Host, Trevor Noah, out for an opening monologue that could, quite possibly, result in the formation of an entirely new political party…or, at the very least, a new studio.
2. Tom Hiddleston
Hear me out: all you have to do is google Hiddleston’s various international talk show appearances to know that the guy is absurdly charming, eloquent, and has no qualms with making a fool of himself dancing around on stage. He can also sing (see him in the upcoming film I Saw the Light), which makes him something of a triple threat…along the lines of, say, the last great host the Oscars had: Hugh Jackman. Plus he’s got a British accent. Need I say anything more?
1. Amy Schumer
Yeah, I’m on that train(wreck). Schumer took 2015 by storm and her perfect balance of that girl-next-door vibe and socially astute comedy makes her a prime hosting candidate. She’s smart, she’s original, and she’s practically fearless – an awesomely lethal combination in my eyes. Personally I would like to see her host The Oscars on her own, but would, of course, expect a bit with the equally lovable Jennifer Lawrence. We got a little taste of what that would be like at this year’s Golden Globes and I, for one, am definitely interested in seeing more.
Matt: Nice call on, well, all of them really. I especially like Tom Hiddleston, I too think he can surprise us the same way Hugh Jackman did.
Well there you have it. Those are our picks, let us know what you think. And we’re sure there are others so let us know who you would like to see take the Oscar stage.
The Oscars will air this Sunday, on February 28th.
Make sure to keep checking back for more updates and more of our Oscar coverage this year — right here on GeekNation.
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