Yeah, I know—they gave Kevin Hart the gig. But maybe the Academy could keep me in mind for 2020, because I have a really sound argument, here, on why I would in fact be an ideal host. I hear they’re having trouble finding people these days, probably in no small part because of difficult attracting The Youths. Now, I admit I won’t get them much in the way of name appeal; I have a lot of friends and acquaintances, but not even that many compared to some of my Facebook friends. But hey, if the name appeal of the freakin’ Oscars isn’t enough to get you to watch, does the host really matter that much?
First off, I’ll also admit my downside—no dance number from me. Sorry. I can sing, and pretty well—I feel sure the Academy would spring for a vocal coach to get me in peak form by air date, too. But I feel we can get a funny bit out of this where I go to dance and switch places real quick with, say, Hugh Jackman. Yes, I know; we don’t look anything alike. That’s the joke. If you want someone with things in common like, say, two X chromosomes, I suppose we can go Catherine Zeta Jones.
My strengths? Well, I can read a script, which is a good starting place. I also, unlike a certain recent past host who shall remain James Franco, have an endless enthusiasm for the show itself. I like the Oscars. I like the show. I like the trivia. I like the montages and the song-and-dance numbers and the shtick. I legitimately think Billy Crystal was a great Oscar host and wish he’d done it as many times as Bob Hope. And you know I won’t be up there thinking about all the nominations I should have by now, because I haven’t done anything!
I also have a good sense of where the jokes shouldn’t go, if you know what I mean. “We Saw Your Boobs” wouldn’t get through on my watch. My Oscar jokes would punch up and only up. Oh, sure, some self-deprecation about the fact that a freelance writer who makes less than $50 a month on Patreon is somehow now on one of the biggest stages in the world; that would be noteworthy, it’s true. And, yeah, I’d probably mention the Patreon a time or two, because, hey, no matter how much the Oscars pay, I could still use the monthly cash. But if I talked about sexual predators in the industry, I honestly wouldn’t make it a joke. Just something we should maybe do something about.
I can also bring years’ worth of Oscar viewing in company with Ordinary People to say what worked and what didn’t at my viewing parties. Where we think things drag. What jokes we think are overdone. What moments we still reference positively years later. (Whoopi Goldberg aware that having the orchestra pay attention means she’s doing well; Steve Martin claiming Tom Hanks was in on the plot to kidnap Russell Crowe.) And mention that, yeah, we do like moments like the guy who thanked his mom for running craft services more than listening to Matthew McConaughey (whose name I have to look up every time, because I really can’t stand the guy) going on about how great he is.
I have timing. I have wit. I have the Douglas Sirk Melodrama Voice, which can be broken out if we’re joking about dramatic moments. I have a near-exhaustive lore of Oscar trivia and tidbits that can keep things interesting during the scriptwriting sessions. I have a vast depository of movie-loving friends who can contribute to that as well. What’s more, I’m cheap. What do you say, Academy? Why not let me host? I surely can’t be any worse than David Letterman.