…well, before we get to that, let me say this: Ann Hathaway and James Franco did a well enough job as hosts of this year’s telecast. The problem is that well enough was not good enough to prevent a 9 percent drop in viewership from last year. Producers were clearly looking to draw in a younger demographic. This is also why Jon Stewart and Chris Rock were picked to host in years past. Many felt Stewart’s humor was too wry, and Rock’s too edgy. Whether any of that is true is beside the point. The producers keep getting it wrong with their recent hosts.
Three burning questions relating to Hollywood: (1) Why haven’t Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock teamed up yet – the way Al Pacino and Robert Dinero did in Heat? (2) When are Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks going to work together again, because they were awesome in Philadelphia? And (3)…why not consistently have an Oscar host with international starpower and undeniable box office mojo, who is also…funny? Next time, I would pick Will Smith.
To me, it’s a no-brainer. My favorite Oscar host of all-time is Bill Crystal. He’s hilarious, has great comic timing, and is beloved in the film industry. So too, is Smith. He can hold the attention of young people for three to four hours, and even increase viewership. Hathaway and Franco will continue to have great careers in film, but they should never host the Oscars again. Time to think big. Give Will Smith a shot. If not him, then please make sure future hosts are funny.