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Posted at 10:39 AM ET, 03/ 5/2010

Oscars 2010: Your dream Academy Awards host?

By Liz Kelly

Is this man (Simon Cowell) the ideal Oscar host? (Reuters)

Dispatching the tried and true emcees of yesteryear (Billy Crystal, Bob Hope), for the past few years Oscar organizers have been zigging and zagging all over the entertainment map in an attempt to snag higher ratings with buzzy hosts.

But even Chris Rock (2004), Jon Stewart (2005, 2007) and Ellen DeGeneres (2006) didn't do enough to keep us from tuning out on what is really essentially just another industry convention awards ceremony.

Last year Hugh Jackman did succeed in stifling some of our Oscar yawns with a rousing opening number and seemingly limitless energy. And he managed to help boost Oscar to its highest ratings -- 36.3 million viewers -- in years. But despite the bump, even Jackman got mixed reviews from critics and fans.

This year, the Academy is shaking up the formula again with co-hosts Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. Martin, it should be noted, is a hosting vet, having helmed the show in 2000 and 2002. Will the "It's Complicated" co-stars live up to the anticipation? We'll find out Sunday night.

In the meantime, let's indulge our Oscar madness by compiling a Friday List of dream Oscar night hosts.

Me, I'd love to see Tracy Morgan in the hosting gig. He's smart, funny and would help to ratchet back some of the ego that tends to crowd the fun out of the Kodak Theater. Or would Morgan, like this year's Golden Globe host Ricky Gervais, be a little too much of a wildcard for staid Oscar?

Post discussions producer Paul Williams says he'd rather see notoriously vitriolic Simon Cowell host. That could be interesting if the Academy allowed him to critique acceptance speeches ("Congratulations to Mo'Nique, even if no one saw 'Precious' because it was so bloody depressing"). Paul also mentioned Tina Fey as a possible contender, though he conceded, "she's becoming the easy answer to everything nowadays."

Share your dream Oscar host nominees below...

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More: Full coverage of the 2010 Academy Awards

By Liz Kelly  | March 5, 2010; 10:39 AM ET
Categories:  Awards Season, Friday Lists  
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Next: Oscars 2010: Partying with the Irish and Tom Cruise

Comments

I think Justin Timberlake would be a good host. Wait, hear me out!
He's probably never going to be in the running for an Oscar, so he'll have little to no agenda. He's proven he can be really funny (see: his last SNL hosting gig). He can sing (kinda) and dance. I'm not the biggest fan of JT in general - I even walked out of his concert a few years back - but he's growing on me as an entertainer.

Steve Carrell would also probably make a really funny host, as long as he wasn't in Michael Scott character the whole time.

Posted by: eet7e | March 5, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Would like to see this guy...
http://trololololololololololo.com/

Posted by: Osteph | March 5, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Two words: Rip Torn.

Two other words: Courtney Love.

Posted by: byoolin1 | March 5, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Neil Patrick Harris

Posted by: anne_t | March 5, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm...ee, I'm with you on Justin Timberlake. Lord knows he's been very, very funny on SNL recently. I'm not sure if he has the heft to do it quite yet, but I'd like to see him paired with someone a little older and more established. Like, oh, Steve Martin- that might work. :D

Steve Carrell would be good too; he seems like he can be both funny and serious without being too self-conscious.

I'd like to see Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert co-host; they play off each other very well.

And while it'd be impossible (she's in the running for Oscars too frequently), I think Meryl Streep would be a fun host. She's always so delighted about everything.

Posted by: Bawlmer51 | March 5, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I vote Jay and Silent Bob (although he should be called Silent Blob these days)...

Posted by: LTL1 | March 5, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Stephen Colbert, because he says all those things out loud that we put through a filter.

Posted by: hodie2 | March 5, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Obviously Conan O'Brien is at loose ends, so why not.

Sarah Silverman would also be good.

I guess we are just lucky it isn't Snooki from "Jersey Shore."

Posted by: reddragon1 | March 5, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The problem isn't the host. I watch Hugh Jackman read the telephone book and I still wasn't glued to the Oscars. The show itself is less interesting than the phone book.

That said - If we can't have Hugh again I second the vote for Neil Patrick Harris. Or, they could go with Bob Costas... he could apply some of that Olympic sarcasm to the ceremonies.

Posted by: DCLocal20 | March 5, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I can think of a few co-host combinations that might work:

1) Brad Pitt & Jennifer Aniston: Admit it, ratings would go through the roof the second they walked on stage together. Everyone would tune in to see if they can keep it together for four hours without killing each other in front of millions.

2) Eugene Levy & Catherine O'Hara: They can sing, dance and act (they even sang an Oscar-nominated song together once!). Plus -- her cringeworthy Winter Olympics bit aside (peeing in the snow, Catherine? was that the best you could do?) -- they can be hilariously entertaining.

3) Wayland Flowers & Madame: Something for the adults and the kids-- What? He did? When? Oh. Never mind. (Sorry.)

4) Bob Hope & Johnny Carson: The producers can just splice together Bob Hope and Johnny Carson bits from past years.

Think about it: Both hosted before, Bob did a zillion movies and Johnny did that many "Tonight" shows. And surely one of them said the name "Meryl Streep" when he was alive. It'd be like a "JACK-FM" approach to the Academy Awards.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | March 5, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Oh no, no, no....not Tracy Morgan. He's just annoying. But Simon Cowell...hmm now that's an idea.

Posted by: MDey | March 5, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

I thought Hugh Jackman was kinda boring - and what pissed me off is they had those musical "tributes", but limited the actual, nominated songs to a montage.

I don't care about rousing opening numbers, and that was an insult to the nominated artists.

I am actually really happy to see Steve Martin back - I thoroughly enjoyed his hosting gigs. Pairing him with Alec Baldwin I think will be fabulous. And both are entertainers who are fast on their feet (think all of their SNL appearances combined), so it should be interesting.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | March 5, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I think a Rip Torn, Courtney Love, Gary Busey triumvirate would make for the most epic of Oscar hosting gigs.

Posted by: DorkusMaximus1 | March 5, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

How about a CGI version of the dapper and urbane David Niven?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | March 5, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Courtney Love

Because nothing says absurd self-important preening like Oscar... of course, it would only work if she were falling down drunk and puked on an award winner - but god think of the ratings!!!

Posted by: quintiliusvarus | March 5, 2010 11:03 PM | Report abuse

I don't watch the Oscar Award Show. Boring. I can read about the winners the next day or hear it endlessly on the TV news media...as if it were important information for the living.

Posted by: clairevb | March 7, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

I don't watch the Oscar Award Show. Boring. I can read about the winners the next day or hear it endlessly on the TV news media...as if it were important information for the living.

Posted by: clairevb | March 7, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Someone said Neil Patrick Harris?? Maybe if he can break away from fellating a fecal smeared jones, lol.

Almost every host since Carson has been a leftist, America-hating tool. Johnny, where are ye??

Posted by: tjhall1 | March 7, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I second the motion for Stephen Colbert, but I would love to see Hugh Jackman again, I thought he was fabulous last year. It will be interesting how the Martin-Baldwin co-hosting gig works out, though.

Posted by: Beach_Girl | March 7, 2010 2:31 PM | Report abuse

Ralph Nader or Gandhi, either would make it apparent you people are frigging idiots.

Posted by: AIPACiswar | March 7, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Kathy Griffin. Mostly because it'll be nail-biting as to whether she'll say something that makes the FCC pass out in horror.

Posted by: mbc613 | March 7, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Kathy Griffin would make the entire Academy pass out in horror, but a great idea.

I have to go with Larry David, though. Of course, that would be the last Oscar ceremony, but still....

Posted by: i_go_pogo | March 7, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Living in deepest Cornwall in SW England would someone please tell me - what are the Oscars ? Are they something to do with a family called Hammerstein ?

Posted by: bregenz | March 7, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Living in deepest Cornwall in SW England would someone please tell me - what are the Oscars ? Are they something to do with a family called Hammerstein ?

Posted by: bregenz | March 7, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Robin Williams. He's the right combination of zany and serious. He should have been given a shot at hosting years ago.

Posted by: banjabina | March 7, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

ricky gervais, please

Posted by: Potter2 | March 7, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Zombie Bob Hope. Better than anyone living.

Posted by: djmolter | March 7, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

My dream host....Jim Lehrer, with no music.
That way, I can get to bed early Sunday night and have something little exciting to read in the paper the next morning.

Posted by: jmf3210 | March 7, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

My dream host....Jim Lehrer, with no music.
That way, I can get to bed early Sunday night and have something little exciting to read in the paper the next morning.

Posted by: jmf3210 | March 7, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Tracey Morgan? You must be as high as Trace.....

Posted by: maus92 | March 7, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

I've always found Tracy Morgan's voice rather monotonous. Robin Williams or Conan O'Brien.

Or Wanda Sykes. She also has a monotonous voice, but it doesn't matter because she is funny enough to make my face hurt for days after watching her.

Posted by: carlaclaws | March 7, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

What would be the point with Tracy Morgan--maybe he'd be fun for the attendees but we at home won't hear a thing he says because all will be bleeped out!

Posted by: mygr8kidz2 | March 7, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Tracy Morgan would have everything he says bleeped out so what's the point for the home viewer?!

Posted by: mygr8kidz2 | March 7, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

THE ONE AND ONLY DAVID LETTERMAN. It's time to do something for the old guy he's had it ruff for over a year.

Posted by: qqbDEyZW | March 7, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I suggest somebody entirely different in style, Barack Obama would not mind the global spotlight. Or if he is not available, Keith Oberman.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | March 7, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Rich Little in character as Ronald Reagan the entire time.

Posted by: douglaslbarber | March 7, 2010 9:48 PM | Report abuse

Avigdor Lieberman and Dick Cheney.

Posted by: MarkinJC | March 7, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Uhhh...Don Draper. 'Nuff said.

Posted by: Bunnypoo | March 7, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Yikes, Tracy Morgan? He and Robin Williams are the two most annoying actors / alleged comedians ever. Justin Timberlake or Wanda Sykes could work out quite well.

Posted by: wildpotato | March 7, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Craig Ferguson!!

He's funny, deals with the Hollywood types on a regular basis, and has both acted and directed films previously. Plus there would be puppets!

Posted by: as101 | March 7, 2010 11:21 PM | Report abuse

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