Now Hiring Who Will Replace Eddie Murphy as Host of the 2012 Academy Awards? (Photos)
A day after Brett Ratner announced he won’t be producing this year’s Oscars, Eddie Murphy gave up his gig as the show’s host. From Whoopi Goldberg to Justin Timberlake, see photos of The Daily Beast’s picks as potential replacements.
Everyone breathed a sigh of relief when
Tower Heist director Brett Ratner announced he wouldn’t be producing the 84 th Academy Awards, having come under fire for making a gay slur in reference to the show’s rehearsal process. The following day, there were more sighs of disappointment than relief when Eddie Murphy, Ratner’s pick for host, declared he was out too. Despite Murphy’s up and down career, some critics ( including former Oscar host Jon Stewart) were looking forward to the return of a relatively seasoned pro after last year’s rookies, James Franco and Anne Hathaway, bombed as hosts. So who should replace him? From Billy Crystal to Justin Timberlake, The Daily Beast looks at potential candidates.
Kevin Winter / Getty Images Billy Crystal
If the Academy is looking for a quick fix, Billy Crystal is arguably its best bet. He’s hosted the awards show eight times and is a master at distinguishing hilariously inappropriate jokes from off-color comments that lead to awkward silences. Crystal recently all but volunteered to pick up the gig, saying his brief appearance at last year’s show
had made him “a little itchy” to host again “maybe one or two more times.” Timothy A. Clary, AFP / Getty Images Whoopi Goldberg
Having emceed the Oscars four times, Whoopi Goldberg is another veteran host who could easily reprise her role. As co-host of
The View, Goldberg weighed in on James Franco and Anne Hathaway’s lackluster performance last year. “The first few minutes of that show is yours,” she said, adding that the host has to be able to quickly recover from a blip in the ceremony, like when Melissa Leo dropped the F-bomb while accepting her award for Best Supporting Actress last year. “When things like that happen, you have to be able to come and lift the audience out of their shock and move the show forward,” Goldberg said. “I felt like last night there was no one in charge.” She added nonchalantly that she would like to host the show with Billy Crystal. Now there’s a dynamic duo the Academy should be scouting. Kevin Winter / Getty Images Neil Patrick Harris
Considering what a bang-up job he’s done as host of the Tony and Emmy awards, one would think emceeing the Oscars would be an easy transition for Neil Patrick Harris. But the
How I Met Your Mother star recently implied that the idea makes him nervous, despite having tested the waters two years ago when he opened the show before hosts Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin took the stage. “I am actively anti-campaigning,” Harris said in an interview with Hit Fix. “It’s a big deal, but to come out as a host? Unless you are doing Billy Crystal, it’s really difficult.” He added, “You’re a big target regardless of what you do. I mean, look at what happened with Anne and James. They just got slammed for it.” Kevin Winter / Getty Images Ellen Degeneres
Ellen DeGeneres had no trouble interacting with the star-studded audience as host of the 2007 Academy Awards. After four years of interviewing celebrities on her popular talk show, she had a fairly good handle on how to work the crowd. Four years after hosting the awards,
Ellen is still going strong and her name allegedly has been circulating among Academy insiders. She could be back on the Oscars stage next year in the same suit she wore in 2007. Kevin Winter / Getty Images Jimmy Fallon
Former SNL-er Jimmy Fallon
has a large following as host of NBC’s late night talkfest, and his performance at last year’s Emmy Awards got rave reviews. It’s only a matter of time before Fallon takes on the Oscars. Kevin Winter / Getty Images Justin Timberlake
The Academy Awards is already full of musical numbers, so why not a musical host? Justin Timberlake clearly has done a good job as a Saturday Night Live host, as he’s been
asked back three times since his first gig and was a big hit as the host of ESPN’s ESPY awards in 2008. But would the singer-turned-actor-turned-comedian even want the job? He told Ryan Seacrest he thinks hosting the Oscars “would be a blast.” Dan Callister / Getty Images Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy Gabriel Bouys, AFP / Getty Images Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin
It doesn’t get much better than the collective comic genius of Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, who were equally classy and quippy as co-hosts of the 2010 Academy Awards. Despite their ingénue appeal, Anne Hathaway and James Franco never stood a chance of carrying the show with the same ease as these two industry vets. If the Academy learned anything from last year’s hosts, they’ll stick with the tried and true this year.
Kevin Winter / Getty Images Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart never censors himself on
The Daily Show, so it’s no surprise that the two-time Oscar host was a bit of a wild card. In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Stewart recalled a favorite moment “when we showed all of their montages about all these incredibly socially powerful films, and how Hollywood was a leader in the civil rights movement.” Even in front of the Academy, Stewart had a hard time toning it down. “I came back after the montage ended and said, ‘And racism was never a problem again.’” Despite the irreverent joke, Stewart was a major crowd-pleaser and stands as good a chance as any other reliable favorite of being asked back. Kevin Winter / Getty Images Hugh Jackman Kevin Winter / Getty Images Charlie Sheen
Before he went from being the
highest-paid actor on television to “ unemployed winner”, Charlie Sheen was starring in Oscar-winning films. But while his Comedy Central Roast showed Sheen definitely can laugh at himself, we’re not sure if a family event like the Academy Awards is ready for this actor’s rabble-rousing shtick.