HUGH JACKMAN to HOST OSCARS – a good idea?
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced today that HUGH JACKMAN (People magazine’s sexiest man Alive) will be the HOST of the 81st annual Academy Awards, scheduled to air Feb 22. Producers Larry Mark and Bill Condon will reportedly forgo the joke telling and the programs signature opening monologue.
While Jackman scored good reviews for hosting the Tony awards four years ago I don’t really get this move. I like Jackman (I really liked Australia) and think he’s an appealing guy, but the Oscar host should belong to a comedian. The telecast has always lived and died on the opening monologue. Since it’s NO secret that Hollywood is a liberal crowd, an Oscar telecast without political jabs and inside jokes just won’t feel like the Oscars I have been watching my entire life. It’s one thing to revamp the telecast but this just feels extreme, and not for the better. When I tune in I want to laugh. I want an edge and I want to be wowed.
While some past hosts have been better than others, the definitive host was and will always be BILLY CRYSTAL. He’s not only brilliantly funny but he’s one of Hollywood’s own. The fun of a good Oscar host is having the anticipation of what might come next. You can only get that from a comedian. The choice of Jackman takes that equation right out of the game. While the “Wolverine” star is a solid actor, showman, and certainly a class act, he doesn’t have the right personality to pull this off. People tune in because they want to see that host take shots at their peers in the crowd. It’s pretty much assured that won’t happen this time around. To me that’s just not the Oscars!
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