Now that the Academy Awards have officially gone hostless (for only the second time in its history), it’s time to focus our attention on the potential crop for next year’s edition.
With one full year to fill out some rather large shoes – previous hosts include actors such as Billy Crystal, Neil Patrick Harris, the late Robin Williams; and comedians such as Ellen DeGeneres, Jon Stewart and David Letterman – there is plenty of time for the Academy to start getting on the phones with agents and swiftly hammer out a deal.
To help them out, here is our list of candidates. And yes, we’ve taken into account the #OscarsSoWhite and #MeToo movements as well.
TINA FEY AND AMY POEHLER
It’s probably a fruitless endeavour (and four years past its expiration date) but I am still determined to flog the dead horse because we know that they slay. Aside from being BFFs (which only enhances their performance), they have over 20 years of experience in comedy and acting. Having performed together during their tenure at Saturday Night Live and in various movies – most recently in Sisters – their chemistry is off the charts.
In fact, their gig at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards was so well received that they were asked to reprise their roles for the next two years.
ANDY SAMBERG AND SANDRA OH
Maybe it’s the more casual and informal vibe that the Golden Globes have but they’ve had more hits than misses in recent years when it comes to picking their hosts. Case in point, the unexpected pairing of actors Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh that pleasantly surprised us at this year’s show.
While Samberg is known for his work in Brooklyn Nine-Nine, people will be more familiar with Oh as the ambitious and sarcastic Dr Cristina Yang on the award-winning TV series Grey’s Anatomy – a role which provided her opportunities to showcase her dry humour that was also evidently on display during the Golden Globes.
ALSO READ: Oscars show to go hostless for the second time in its history
KATE MCKINNON AND LESLIE JONES
Pairings just seem to be such a flawless combination that we’re continuing the winning strategy with comic actresses Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. Both McKinnon and Jones are part of the cast of Saturday Night Live and have starred together in the Ghostbusters all-female reboot three years ago.
They haven’t performed as a duo so far for us to accurately gauge their potential for success, but if their interviews were any indication, they seem to have a good rapport and play off each other well. With McKinnon’s knack for celebrity impersonations (such as Justin Bieber and Ellen DeGeneres) and Jones’ witty quips and great sense of observational humour, they are bound to entertain the audiences even if they don’t knock it out of the park.
AWKWAFINA AND KEN JEONG
A dream team that was gifted to us by Crazy Rich Asians, this onscreen father-daughter duo have proven that they have the comedy chops to pull off the Oscars hosting gig. Since his breakout role in Knocked Up in 2008, Jeong has garnered recognition for his roles in the sitcom Community and The Hangover films.
Conversely, Awkwafina may have only achieved mainstream success as an actress last year with Ocean’s 8 and Crazy Rich Asians, but her memorable performance in the latter did not go unnoticed as critics singled her out. Additionally, she hosted the Hollywood Film Awards last year so you can be sure that she knows how to work a live audience – and one full of star power to boot!
Besides, it seems that local actress Fiona Xie is a fan of this idea as well.
ALSO READ: Oscars: The show must go on… without a host
She may be the lone wolf in this pack but by no means is she inferior. In fact, the breakout star of 2017’s Girls Trip has proven repeatedly that she has the presence, personality and the energy to sustain a big room like the Oscars on her own. As a stand-up comedian, Haddish is animated, cuttingly funny and possesses a keen sense of perception that lends itself to accurate and telling insights of the subject which she is commenting on.
In a time where Hollywood is critically examining itself, and with the Oscars typically being seen as a representation of the best of Hollywood and what it aspires to be, perhaps Haddish’s humourous introspection of the industry is just what the doctor ordered.
In light of the recent fiasco involving Kevin Hart, the amount of spotlight and scrutiny the role attracts, and the thanklessness of the responsibility, hosting the Oscars has seemingly become a bed of hot coals that no one wants to step on.
Some think that going hostless might be refreshing change, however, the last time the Oscars did so in 1989, it ended in a hot honeyed mess. Amidst an increasing lack of confidence and interest in the job, what the Academy needs to dispel that notion is to find that one special person (or duo) with the right fit.
Purchase this article for republication.