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Brian Grazer Steps Up to Replace Brett Ratner as Oscar Producer. Next Question: Now Who Should Replace Eddie Murphy as Host?

[Breaking: The Academy has just announced that Brian Grazer has been chosen to produce the 84th Academy Awards with Don Mischer. This will be Grazer's first outing as Oscar producer.]

I was just talking with the AP’s David Germain and the question of who should host the Oscars came up. He asked what my choices were – I ran down my usual, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Colbert, Oprah. I am also not opposed to Billy Crystal hosting. But Germain suggested Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy from Bridesmaids and something clicked. They seem like, to me, the perfect hosts.

Kris Tapley floated the idea of the Muppets hosting. Their latest movie is, by all accounts, great and surprisingly moving. I don’t think this is a bad idea, particularly, but when it comes to darkness and lightness, I always prefer the darker hosts for the Oscars. I like the David Letterman/Jon Stewart/Steve Martin/Alec Baldwin type of host. But that’s just me.

But Dear Santa, hear my plea. Please let Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig host the Oscars.

How about you, dear readers, your greatest wish?

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AMPAS Press Release Announcing the Producer Swap of 2012

“Brian Grazer is a renowned filmmaker who over the past 25 years has produced a diverse and extraordinary body of work,” said Sherak. “He will certainly bring his tremendous talent, creativity and relationships to the Oscars®.”

“I am thrilled to welcome Brian Grazer as my partner and that we will be collaborating to produce an outstanding show,” echoed Mischer.

“It’s very gratifying to be part of a show that honors excellence in the medium to which I have devoted so much of my career,” said Grazer. “Don is a legend, and I am excited to work with him.”

102 Comments on this Post

  1. Didn’t last year prove that novice hosts are a bad idea? So Wiig, McCarthy, Rogen, Apatow, any of these suggested names who have never hosted anything before is a bad idea imo. And I don’t think they’ll bring ratings either, which was supposed to be why they don’t hire someone like Crystal who has said that he would love to do it again. Remember they were going for young and hip last year. He’s not those things but never let them down.

  2. How about Brian Grazer with Ron Mischer?

  3. Mel Gibson? :) Just kidding.

    Tina Fey writing, Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling hosting.

  4. This is so unbelievably obvious…i dont know why it hasnt been considered. Steve Carell to host the Oscars! First off, he is a genuine movie star with most of his films reaching the 100,000,000 mark. Secondly, he is smart and a genius at improvising. He has been so funnt and witty at so many award shows. Third, he is almost universally well liked. Everyone loves Billy Crystal and Steve is so similiar in many ways.
    Cone on and lets get some support for Steve!

  5. Wiig and McCarthy be fresh, for sure, esp if Wiig brings on Aunt Ruth (?) the fillm critic or Judy Garland. How about teaming McCarthy, great ad-libber, with a vet host, like NPH or Jackman? Could have an amusing sub-plot running through the evening.

  6. andrew Bell

    Absolutely not Kirsten Wig and the Bridesmaids fools.
    It’s time for the Oscars to class it up and pick Kevin
    Spacey as the Host. He would blow it out of the park

  7. fillm? film. too much politics todays

  8. 1. Craig Ferguson (he could be the perfect host)
    2. The 6 Gals of ‘Bridesmaids’ (if they want an out-of-the-box pick)
    3. Hugh Jackman (THE perfect blend of humor and class)
    4. Sandra Bullock (she IS funny, I’m surprised her name never came up)
    5. Ellen Degeneres (always a solid choice)

  9. It suddenly dawned on me Ricky Gervais would be a brilliant idea.

  10. Wiig and McCarthy are a great idea. Add Tina Fey and Amy Poehler to that list and revolve the hosting duties and I think you have something. It would also be kind of awesome to have NPH host. Not only has he already done the Emmys and Tonys beautifully, I’m sure his opening monologue would get a ton of funny gay mileage. I really hope that they don’t default to Billy Crystal but Grazer is as middlebrow as it gets so I don’t expect anything cool or weird.

  11. @ Antoinette

    Every Oscar host has, at one time, been a novice host. Even Bob Hope and Billy Crystal had their first times too.

  12. Kevin Spacey has been my dream host for a long time. Nobody can entertain a crowd as effortlessly as him.

  13. Jay Pharoah – as Eddie Murphy

  14. You know I think Ricky Gervais would be perfect after all this. I hate him. It would make perfect sense to me that that’s how all this would end. Someone who intentionally intends to hurt people’s feelings when he gets to host a show is the perfect solution to this situation. Because we can’t tolerate someone who can’t watch his mouth, but we can love someone who shows up with insults ready. I really don’t understand this and I’m going to step out of this discussion.

    Anyone who needs to jump on me for any of that, can do so on twitter.

  15. Spacey would be great – double oscar winner and he’s got the chops, humor and respect to host.

  16. julian the emperor

    Is Grazer not the same man being chummy with Ratner at the red carpet of the J Edgar premiere very recently..? Well, “the apple rarely falls far from the tree”, as a saying in my native Danish goes…

  17. onopacto10

    Justin Timberlake needs to host the Oscars. He’s proven capable of hosting things (he’s won 2 Emmys for doing it on SNL). He’s funny, a good singer/dancer, and isn’t afraid of looking like a fool (3-Way, Dick in a Box, The Love Guru). He’s relevant having been in “The Social Network” and has a movie out now. With the right material he would excel.

  18. footinmouth

    Not Justin Timberlake!! Have you seen him interviewed recently? He’s good with a script, but not so good at the improvisation. He would do a great opening, and then go downhill from there, IMO.

  19. Ryan Griffin

    I’ve read enough Tweets/articles today to convince me The Muppets hosting would be brilliant. No orchestra playing winners off stage, just those two crotchety guys heckling them from the balcony! Brilliant.

  20. Conan O’ Brien!

    If not Conan, then Steve Martin. I think he’s been the best host in the past decade, except for the year he hosted with Alec Baldwin. I’ve got nothing against Baldwin, but more than one host doesn’t seem to work.

  21. Ricky may sometimes come off as very offensive, but as far as I know he hasn’t made a joke out of the socially disadvantaged, those who are still subjected to bullying and prejudice. Yes Ricky may have insulted some, but that wasn’t the same case as Ratner’s faux pas. Different contexts, different subjects. Plus, there really were better movies in the comedy/musical genre with a whole lot more developed characters than The Tourist.

  22. ooh – yes: Spacey. Good call.

  23. joeyhegele

    NEIL PATRICK HARRIS!!!!!

    Not only has he proven he is a great awards host (see: The Tony’s), plus it will make up for all this homophobia.

  24. Kevin Klawitter

    That’s not the point. Ricky Gervais is a glorified insult comedian, when what the Oscars need is somebody who has class and respect, and whose ribbing is good-natured rather than venemous. Somebody like Robert Downey Jr, Kevin Spacey, or Steve Carell.

    The Muppets would be an inspired choice any other year, but since they have a movie in contention this year (and will probably get at least one song nomination) it might not be kosher (Brian Grazer producing “J. Edgar” notwithstanding).

  25. footinmouth

    Spacey would be awesome, he does it all!

    I’d also like to see Steve Carell and Jane Lynch, or Carell and Tina Fey.

  26. Benjamin Forestieri

    Epic: Ricky Gervais

  27. BETTE MIDLER!!

  28. footinmouth

    Betty White for crying out loud!!!!

  29. I always loved the sharper tongued hosts. Ricky G. would be too much though, just crosses the line of decorum too often for my tastes. Loved Letterman, Carrell and Fey, Steve Martin. A veteran actor/comedian, glad Ratner/Murphy are gone. Neil Patrick Harris would be awesome too, first openly gay Oscar host?!

  30. A vote for Spacey as well, one of the best in the business.

  31. Ripley – You must have forgotten Ellen! ;)

  32. jennybee

    I vote for Muppets. Dark, sharp Muppets.

  33. Betty White for crying out loud!!!!

    !!
    Betty White and Alan Arkin!
    (really rub Eddie’s nose in it.)

  34. footinmouth

    They should have a whole slew of hosts, and tag team, hand off the mic/baton to the next team. They could show who’s “on deck” when they break for commercial.

  35. Kevin Klawitter

    I’ll be back on the record with the same two off-kilter suggestions I make every year:

    what about Samuel L. Jackson or Christopher Walken? They’re both talented, respected actors. Jackson’s been nominated for an Oscar and Walken’s won, they are both funny and have musical chops, and even have a following among the young people AMPAS is trying so hard to attract. Either one of them would be a home run, methinks.

  36. James Francis McAnderson

    Grazer? Lets have Ron Howard host. Or Russell Crowe. Will Arnett? Jason Bateman? Michael Cera? Tom Hanks?

  37. cinemaniax7

    1. Billy Crystal
    2. Hugh Jackman
    3. The Muppets

    Kevin Spacey is certainly talented enough, but could he have fun with it for three and a half hours?

  38. Bastoche

    Tom Hanks (good working relationship with Grazer as far as I know)
    Kevin Spacey
    Hugh Laurie
    Steve Martin
    Jon Stewart
    Conan O’Brien

  39. I second Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.

    Alternative: Zooey Deschanel (and Paul Schneider, but we know that won’t happen) and Joseph Gordon Levitt.

  40. Bob Burns

    Ron Howard

  41. The Academy and Grazer will likely want to select a known gay celebrity to host this year in a good show of faith for the Gay and Lesbian community and thus the decision is obvious: Tom Cruise.

  42. John Oliver

    Meryl Streep-She’s witty.

  43. The Muppets!

  44. Lily Tomlin

  45. Bastoche

    I’m down with the Muppets, too, but they seem so precarious a choice logistically.

  46. Any of these names floated above feels like just more of the same. The success of the Oscar show then rests solely on a performer’s personality and ability to improvise. Personally, I think Kris Tapley’s suggestion of the Muppets is GENIUS, and his reasoning for their selection makes sense. How do we get this idea to go viral?

  47. Please God no more fucking tag team hosts. Baldwin/Martin was lame. Franco/Hathaway was one of the worst ever. Wiig/McCarthy would suffer the same fate.

    I vote Jon Stewart back. And if he won’t do it I think they should get Billy Crystal.

  48. Joao Mattos

    If this guy that I will name doesn’t have a lot of problems with several social groups due to his crude jokes, I think he could be a good choice to replace Eddie Murphy. Because to me, he is the best Eddie Murphy wannabe, the deserved heir of Murphy crown: Eddie Griffin (I love, love “Undercover Brother”). But there is no way that this gonna happen.

    So I will sugest someone who is not exacltly a comedian, but makes people laugh in some movies, and has a gentle, sweet, no provocative public persona, because I think that is what the common sense is searching now for this event: Paul Rudd.

    But I guess a good procedure for the next Academy Award is to reveal the host only at the time of the cerimony, on the stage.

  49. I’ve been championing Bette Midler for a few years now.

  50. Billy Crystal

    The Muppets

    Neil. Patrick. Harris.

  51. NPH would be a very good choice. Not only has he hosted both the Emmys and Tonys before to critical and audience acclaim, but as someone said above, he could make some good-natured jokes about the whole “fag” situation and help the Academy get over whatever negative perception is still hanging around after the Ratner fiasco. Many say NPH can’t do it because he’s not a “movie star”, but neither are David Letterman, Jon Stewart or Ellen DeGeneres (or Johnny Carson, for that matter) – perhaps being a talk show host is different than being a sitcom star with occasional small film parts like NPH, but I’m not sure it’s THAT different.

    That said, I would also be cool with bringing back Billy Crystal or Hugh Jackman, both of whom had expressed an interest before Murphy was chosen. I would assume Crystal is available, at least.

  52. I’m on TEAM THE MUPPETS, and they can co-host with Jason Segel and Amy Adams if people are worried about The Muppets’ limitations.

  53. The Muppets? NO. Just, no.

  54. Magically Delicious

    Tommy Wisseau.

  55. Brian Glazer is a solid and safe choice, and I predict he will select a major star as host, someone not yet mentioned. He is not a risk taker. And that may be a good thing given the present condition of the Academy under Sherak’s “leadership.”

  56. Question about THE MUPPETS. The buzz for the film is starting to grow big time and apparantly it is fabulous. Does it actually have a shot at a Best Picture nomination if it gets raves?

  57. I’m hoping Hugh Jackman will get to have another go. He’s my favorite host in recent memory

  58. Not Harrison Ford

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kermit-the-Frog-to-Host-the-Oscars/272644489419195

    There has been a Facebook petition for Kermit to host the Oscars since July.

  59. Joan Rivers…do you realize how unbelievably funny and awkward it would be? Her opening monologue would be epic.

    But in all seriousness, why isn’t Tina Fey ever mentioned anymore? Is she too 2008? She would be brilliant.

    The Muppets would be cute but I have a feeling that after an hour or so it would start to get a little lame.

    I for one LOVED Jon Stewart so I would be happy for him to return. Ditto Steve Martin. Never particularly a Billy Crystal fan, although he is by no means a terrible host.

    I would have to second (or third) the people who have mentioned Steve Carell. He would be a brilliant host and I think he could very well be in the running.

  60. I was driving today and thought of Meslissa as well, I think she would be hysterical, and would nab tons of viewers. Tina Fey would also be a great choice!

  61. Walt Gamble

    Joao Mattos, I completely agree.
    Paul Rudd was the first person who jumped to my kind, he’s very sweet, gentle and charming, yet also can be very, very funny, he would be the perfect choice for not offending anyone, yet still putting on a truly entertaining show. The only problem would be if people started attacking him over that ‘you know how I know you’re gay…’ scene from The 40 Year Old Virgin, which in light of the Ratner controversy could come off as quite poor taste.
    My main hopes are that
    A: They settle on one host, it just never works when awards shows split the duties, for one thing scripted patter has to be about the most annoying thing on earth to watch.
    B: That it’s not Ricky Gervais. I find his shows to very, very funny, but as a host I cannot stand him. Snark is not wit.

  62. Melissa McCarthy and Matt Damon. You’d have two people who can be funny without offending. Also an Oscar winner and someone from one the biggest movies of the year.

  63. Beth Stevens

    The Muppets must host.

    Rehearsing is for frogs!!!

    :)

  64. footinmouth

    Jimmy Fallon?? Chris Rock?? I don’t think either of these have been mentioned.

  65. I know I’m alone on that, but Emma Thompson. Or go for a writer – Nora Ephron. Everybody who has seen Nora do the AFI tributes to Meryl Streep and then to Mike Nichols knows very, very well that the woman not only can write great comic monologues (she knows her crowd very well), but she can deliver it as well. Emma would be a very nice combination of somebody who knows good comedy, but at the same time has the classy touch. I know both are rather unorthodox choices, but why not?

    @ footinmouth, no Chris Rock! Never Chris Rock! He’s simply way too arrogant for the job. His comments about Tobey Maguire and Jude Law at the Oscars in 2005 were really something he should have avoided. And half of his monologue was pointless. To me of the past hosts Steve Martin is the best. Of course I wasn’t around in Billy’s trademark years, but why not Steve Martin and Tina Fey. They can work together. The writing presentations in 2009 were fun.

  66. alan of montreal

    Again, I agree with Phantom–Craig Ferguson FTW!

  67. Still dreaming about Tina Fey and RDJ hosting together; both are probably way too busy.

    I don’t think Grazer should be too afraid to get a new host; what’s important is whether that person can handle the stage and a live audience. Fey and RDJ have never hosted big events but have presented multiple times at the Oscars (and are usually amongst the best presenters) have shown that they are very comfortable with a live audience and have easy chemistry with the crowd which is important because tv audiences can sense that.

    NPH is too smarmy for me. Great as Barney Stinson but his attitude when hosting rubs me the wrong way.

    No way the Oscars will go for Gervais as much as I love that guy. His face looks like it is perpetually one second away from taking a vicious dig at someone.

  68. As much as I love the Muppets – for the Oscars, I would prefer Tina Fey and Steve Martin.

  69. Please, not Hugh Jackman! I know that he got a lot of attention when he hosted, but I didn’t really enjoy what he did that year. Why don’t people realize that comedians work the best for the Oscars! Jackman simply wasn’t funny. He had a few comic moments, but his delivery wasn’t really that good. Tina Fey and Steve Martin could work, but maybe Grazer will surprise us. Actually Billy Crystal is probably what this year’s Oscars need. Crystal will get a lot of press.

  70. Question Mark

    Tina Fey just had a baby a few months ago, plus 30 Rock is shooting on a compressed schedule due to said baby, and the show films in New York so it isn’t convenient for Fey to fly coast-to-coast for rehearsals. So she’s out for this year, but once 30 Rock has finished its run, I whole-heartedly support the idea of Fey hosting the Oscars.

    I was all set to get behind Neil Patrick Harris, Kevin Spacey, Tom Hanks or a talented hosting vet like Jackman or Crystal…..but man, that Muppets idea is too amazing to pass up. I like the idea of having Segal and Adams involved as the ‘human’ faces of the broadcast, since I’m not sure the Muppets translate to every situation on the show. It’s hard to see the In Memoriam list introduced by a somber Gonzo.

  71. Oscar host does a monologue, and then nor so much after that. It’s an easy gig for a seasoned professional. More thought and effort should be put into the presenters and preparation, which takes up 90% of the formatlities. That’s where the show lives or dies IMO. So in saying that..Robin Williams, Billy Connolly with a stand up routine, Hugh Jackman with a dance routine. Steve Carrell, while I like, would be too scripted unlike the other two comedians who ‘cannot’ be scripted.

    …and get rid of those actors who present, monotone, unrehearsed and unfunny awards. While they can certainly act, they’re not comfortable in this area. Aybe the host (ie Robin Williams) can co present each award with a different actor each time. At least you get more of the host and less of the ‘ I wish I wasn’t here’

    David Lynch would also be interesting and wholesome. He’d be funny in his own way and is always good to listen too.

  72. The muppets would be awesome. Then lots of guest appearances (read: Neil Patrick Harris as usual). :)

  73. Kevin Spacey and Hugh Jackman would be great choices. Also, Ellen Degeneres and Whoopi Goldberg; classy ladies. Tina Fey and Steve Carrell would also be great.

  74. Steve Carell or Jim Carrey or both specially that they are both doing a movie together “Burt Wonderstone” , I know it’s not coming before 2013 but this could be a great chance for them to show their chemistry.

    Also I think that Steve Carell & Tina Fey can be great together…

  75. I would also love guest appearances by Simon Pegg & Nick Frost

  76. A FUNNY GAY LADY!

    SYKES!
    DEGENERES!
    LYNCH!

    ANYONE HERE: http://www.canonballblog.com/?p=3173

  77. and how about Robert Downey Jr as a host?!
    IMO he could do what Hugh Jackman did but a lot better…

  78. Easy Choice……Betty White!

  79. Joao Mattos

    Walt Gamble: I completely forgot about that joke on “40 year Old Virgin”, but I still sustain that Paul Rudd could be a cool choice.

  80. just put in hugh jackman, he was the best host of the last 10 yrs

  81. therealmike

    The Muppets. I think it´s the best idea ever. Kermit doing a monologue would be awesome. Then a couple of cute songs. Guest apppearances by movie stars. This could be brilliant.

    @ Beth Stevens “Rehearsing is for frogs!” Awesome!

    But Melissa McCarthy would be great, too. Her work on SNL last month was hysterical.

  82. Well, I should host it, obviously.

  83. Rodrigo de Oliveira

    It looks like Billy Cristal was invited by the Academy (not Grazer) and already turned it down, due to schedule conflits in February. The information comes from a Brazilian HFPA member.

    I just feel the talk show hosts and stand-up comedians are always the best hosts. Actors have to much at stake, and they all end up doing the cute-pretending-to-be-nasty bit, which just sounds unnatural (remember the George Clooney gag with Alec and Steve? Yeah, no one does). Hugh Jackman did a great opening number, but that’s not really hosting (he kind of disappeared of the show after that), like what Neil Patrick Harris did last year. I’d go with Jon Stewart, or Ellen, assuming my favorite guy, Craig Ferguson, is not really on anybody’s minds, and that the best of them all, Letterman, will never set foot near a Oscar telecast ever again.

    But deep, deep down I wish it was Louis C.K., only to have him do his “faggot” bit and have ABC interrupting the broadcast.

  84. Ellen Degeneres or Whoopi Goldberg!! They’re both so funny and have perfect timing. It’s a crime if Ellen never gets to host another Oscar ceremony.

  85. Tomris Laffly

    I shared on my Facebook yesterday as well… Kristen Wiig would be wonderful. And pair her with The Muppets: instantly hilarious.

  86. mileshigh

    Sasha,
    I thought the exact same thing! That would be great and almost ANYTHING would be better then the hot (Hatheway) mess (Franco) of last years fiasco.

  87. You know I may be wrong but why is it that we believe the Academy Awards need to be a celebrity roast? Why is it that we can’t watch this ceremony without being supposedly entertained by someone taking pot shots at various celebrities? Don’t get me wrong I certainly enjoy humor as much as the next person and love a good laugh but what I’ve seen the last few years has been more of let’s see who we can rip up too get a laugh. Do we really think people watch this show for the jokes? People watch because they want to see who’s going to win. Yes they also want to be entertained but does it need to be burlesque house comedy? Actually burlesque house comedy wasn’t as bad as some of the crap that litters this show and is called humor.

    I think Steve Carrell is a great idea. I think I would end vomiting if I had to watch Kristin Wig and Melissa McCarthy play Bridesmaids all night long. I certainly don’t want to watch Ricky Gervais. I also like the idea of Kevin Spacey.

    I’m listening the View as I write this and Barbara Walters just suggested Whoopi Goldberg should host the Awards. Whoopi said she wouldn’t do it without Billy Crystal. My question would be if Whoopi is gonna do it will she prepare her speech about the definition of fags for all the gay men and women who collect an Oscar that night? Sometimes people forget conviently what comes of their mouths.

    Hell if you’re gonna use pot shot comedy then they should hire a few pole dancers and maybe a couple a strippers. That’ll boost the ratings.

  88. dinasztie

    JOAN RIVERS!!!! :) But the Bridesmaids ladies would be great, too. :D

  89. Billy Crystal and Bette Midler have a movie coming out together in 2012. Both are hilarious, and Bruce Vilanch writes for both of them. I see B’s as the solution: Brian/Billy/Bette/Bruce.

  90. We can’t have another host that will alienate a portion of the audience, as in “let’s get the young audience and make it unwatchable for anyone not in the ‘young crowd'”. Having said that, there’s really only two ways they can go – someone who’s had success in the past bringing audiences in and not offending anyone, aka Billy Crystal. But I’m liking the idea of The Muppets – tons of great idea for the opening and sketches, and celebrity co-hosts/ cameos.

  91. If it’s the Muppets I simply and at last have a reason not to watch. In theory it seems like a funny idea. In practice it would be a catastrophe. Totally and horribly unendurable. So many people seem to want it to be the Muppets it, frankly, shocks me. And it worries me just a little too. It worries me for the adult world, adult films and all of that. I’m already up to my eyeballs in kids movies dominating the box office. No, give me a real person. Please.

  92. Easy Choice……Betty White!

    FAR preferable to the Muppets.

  93. The muppets would be awesome.

    Oh god, please no.

  94. As much as I love the Muppets – for the Oscars, I would prefer Tina Fey and Steve Martin.

    Sanity!

  95. The Muppets must host.

    I just can’t go there, even for you, Beth. The horror, the horror.

  96. The Muppets? NO. Just, no.

    Thank you. Good lord.

  97. I’m on TEAM THE MUPPETS, and they can co-host with Jason Segel and Amy Adams if people are worried about The Muppets’ limitations.

    Just kill me now.

  98. I vote for Muppets. Dark, sharp Muppets.

    Oh no, not Jenny B too. My heart officially broken.

  99. - I vote for Muppets. Dark, sharp Muppets.
    – Oh no, not Jenny B too. My heart officially broken.

    how about dark, sharp, sex-addicted Muppet, Fassy Fozzie

  100. Jeremy C.

    I happened to be watching Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC when he chimed in about the Muppets hosting the Oscars. He said, “How can anybody deny Miss Piggy the chance to walk the red carpet?” Made me LOL.

  101. Billy Crystal tweeted about hosting earlier today. No word from the Academy yet, but…. http://twitter.com/#!/BillyCrystal/status/134744356602130432

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