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Posted at 11:20 AM ET, 11/ 8/2010

Hugh Jackman had to turn down the Oscar hosting job. Here are five other options.

By Jen Chaney

Hugh Jackman: Here's not looking at you, Oscar. (AP/ABC)

As we all know, being Wolverine is a full-time job. That's the reason that, according to and as we noted in today's morning mix, Hugh Jackman turned down an offer to host this year's Academy Awards. His movie "X-Men Origins: Wolverine 2" is scheduled to begin filming in late February, right around the time of the Oscars, so he'll be otherwise engaged..

Jackman turned down a similar offer last year, because the actor said he didn't want to host two years in a row. (Note to Jackman: You might want to start preparing your 2012 Oscar excuse now. And do make it a solid one.)

The action/Broadway star is a natural choice, as he proved when he hosted in 2009 and, as the show's organizers undoubtedly recall, boosted the Oscar broadcast's ratings in a big way. He's respected by his colleagues, multi-talented and enough of a blockbuster star to even bring in the atypical Academy Awards viewer. You know, those guys who hear the name Geoffrey Rush and immediately shout, "Dude, 'Tom Sawyer'? Best prog rock drum solo of all TIME!"

But Jackman's out. So who should take his place? Consider these five options.

Robert Downey Jr.: Can't get Wolverine? Fine. Go with Iron Man. Downey and Ben Stiller were reportedly approached last year about hosting as a unit. I think Downey also could fly solo with no problem. He's funny, fast on his feet, beloved (as far as I can tell) by people in the industry and, best of all, he sets an example of how to overcome self-indulgent, addictive behavior and re-earn his place among moviedom's top actors. That's something that, in the face of constant media attention on its more troubled starlets, Hollywood would be wise to embrace.

Tina Fey and Jon Hamm: Yes, as our own Paul Williams once pointed out, Tina Fey tends to be the easy solution to all entertainment dilemmas. But I'm not sure if the Fey/Hamm combo has ever been floated as an Oscar hosting possibility. Why not? The soon-to-be Mark Twain Prize recipient and her past"30 Rock" co-star -- who, by the way, will pay homage to Ms. Fey tomorrow during that Twain Prize ceremony at the Kennedy Center -- have great comedic chemistry. And they both have silver screen cred: Fey has had two movie hits this year ("Date Night" and "Megamind") while Hamm's certainly broken onto the big screen ("The Town," "Howl") in 2010 as well. Their he said/she said banter could be deliciously Nick and Nora Charles-esque.

Sandra Bullock: She may not be terribly strong in the song-and-dance department, but Bullock established herself over the past year as, perhaps, the famous woman that non-famous women admire most. In general, she's a good talker: self-deprecating, genuine, funny, capable of improv. And putting her in the host position would make history: no other Best Actress winner has played emcee at the Academy Awards the year after winning the coveted statuette. Okay, maybe that's for good reason, so I'll toss in one more factor in Bullock's favor: a show hosted by her would probably win some solid ratings, at least for the first half-hour until all those non Oscar obsessives start to get bored by the announcement of all those pesky awards. Wusses.

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: There's no way in even the most imaginative version of hell that Brangelina would host the Oscars. But how fascinating would it be to watch them do it? And speaking of solid ratings, with the world's most intriguing couple in charge of the proceedings, ratings would be off the charts. (Additionally, the celebrity gossip sector of the Internet might spontaneously combust with excitement.) Plus, if they didn't think they could handle all 87 four hours of the ceremony, they could always call on their buddy George Clooney to pinch hit.

The Muppets: With a new movie coming to theaters next year, the hosting job would be a major marketing win for Jim Henson's felt-skinned stars. But it would be a big win for us, too. Think about it: Fozzie could tell bad jokes. Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem could perform all of the best song nominees. Statler and Waldorf could keep things in perspective by shouting out pointed criticisms of all the pretentiousness. Sean Penn may have gotten angry with Chris Rock for doing the same thing. But surely even Penn can't harbor resentment toward a pair of crotchety Muppets.

Which of these somewhat tongue-in-cheek options appeals to you most? Or do you have a better idea? (Let me guess: Ricky Gervais.) Share your Oscar host suggestions by posting a comment.

By Jen Chaney  | November 8, 2010; 11:20 AM ET
Categories:  Movies, Pop Culture  
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Charlie Sheen. Can't say it wouldn't get people to tune in. Although, that's probably more of an Emmy idea, too lowbrow for The Academy.

Posted by: MStreet1 | November 8, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

This is completely unimportant.

Posted by: markcheslold | November 8, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

This is completely unimportant.

You're quite right

So, I'm going to continue with my regular job of ending hunger, cothing the poor, curing cancer and solving global warming instead of commenting here.

Posted by: DCLocal20 | November 8, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Stephen Colbert

Posted by: HardyW | November 8, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Dude, everybody knows that the drum solo from "YYZ" is *so much* better than "Tom Sawyer." I just think your "Lost" withdrawal is making you believe that anything with the word "Sawyer" in it must be inherently better. Tsk tsk.

Posted by: klaw009x | November 8, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Wait, it can't be too unimportant, you read it & bothered to comment on it markcheslold, so maybe it's important ENOUGH.

Does that make any sense? Oh wait, it's not important if it does or not.


What were we talkin' 'bout?

Posted by: wadejg | November 8, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

From your list of nominations, I'd go with Robert Downey, Jr. He's just all sorts of multi-talented awesome!

Posted by: LittleRed1 | November 8, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Jane Lynch. True, she is most known now for a TV show, but who could forget her critical role in The Fugitive. Oh, and all those Christopher Guest mockumentaries.

Posted by: DCVotes | November 8, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

This foolishness is of no importance to most U.S. citizens struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table.

No one care about these spoiled stuck up rich celebraties. It would be nice to see them loose their wealth and come back down to earth with the rest of us commoners.

Posted by: Ward4DC | November 8, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

How about "the most loved man in Hollywood", AKA Mad Mel Gibson? Problem is, only Whoopi & Jody would show up.

Posted by: kabuki3 | November 8, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Let's have markcheslold and Ward4DC host the show.

While they're whining about how unimportant the show is, klaw009x will anger them further by hosting a panel discussion of the relative merits of Neil's drumming in "YYZ" and "Tom Sawyer."

Also, dude, you'd better add the one in "La Via Strangiato."

Posted by: byoolin1 | November 8, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh my. Those are some lovely photos of Mr. Jackman.

[fanning my face]

Posted by: TBone71 | November 8, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I vote for Ricky Gervais.

Posted by: duhneese | November 8, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

If we can't have Hugh Jackman live, why not just edit the 2009 show and insert the names of the new winners. With CGI, all is possible. Second choice: FeyHamm.

Posted by: kbockl | November 8, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"But surely even Penn can't harbor resentment toward a pair of crotchety Muppets."

I think you're underestimating him.


Posted by: KevFromArlington | November 8, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

I was so looking forward to seeing Jackman in his tux, singing and dancing...I do love that man!

If we can't have Jackman, then how about a team of Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds? They are funny and great together and well able to do it..

Posted by: marilyndi1 | November 9, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I was so looking forward to seeing Jackman in his tux, singing and dancing...I do love that man!

If we can't have Jackman, then how about a team of Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds? They are funny and great together and well able to do it..

Posted by: marilyndi1 | November 9, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

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