Sunday, March 04, 2018

Is there a harder job...?

... than host of the Oscars?

Jimmy Kimmel hosts his second Oscarcast tonight.  (I will be reviewing it.  Check out my podcast.)  I thought he did a very good job last year, although he got a little rattled during the insanity when Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty announced the wrong Best Pictures.  I think once he has a few of these under his belt he'll know how to handle any unforeseen situation.

But he has a relaxed manner and seems to be a good fit.  And it's really a thankless job.  That industry audience in the auditorium takes itself VERY seriously.  You can poke fun at them... up to a point.  But they're a tough crowd to win over.  There's a lot of tension.  These people really want to WIN.  They're not there to have a good time and listen to jokes.  That's the Golden Globes.  These awards COUNT.

And the host must also keep things moving, restore order, and set the tone.  Just how glamorous or lowbrow will the ceremony be?   With Seth MacFarlane there were songs about boobs.  Real elegant.

But look at the number of big names who flamed out as Oscar host.

Chris Rock
Jon Stewart
David Letterman
Ellen Degeneres
Whoopi Goldberg
Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin

Billy Crystal had a good run, but when they brought him back a few years ago his act felt very stale.

It's a lot easier to fuck up than do well, and the eyes of the world are upon you.  So I wish Jimmy Kimmel the best.  Especially since Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty are expected back.

32 comments :

Nathan said...

Just to spite many readers, you didn't review Dunkirk till the end 😂😂😂😂😂

Mike said...

I thought Seth's jokes especially that bear calling itself Jewish, was superb. And he has more talent than any of the other host had. His success and net worth says it all.

He should come back.

Dhruv said...

I am awake and waiting for the Oscar podcast :)

In another 2 Hrs or so, here they start all sorts of reviews, analysis and non-sense. Then a crew from here, stationed near the red carpet beg - yes, literally beg - some celebrity for an interview. Then they show some American network show, where more "experts" analyse "what the actresses are wearing". Sadly, no Sam Rubin show here :(

Then the actual telecast and then finally after the telecast, I keep refreshing the blog again and again till the review is posted.

Ted said...

This will probably be the most difficult Oscars ceremony to be funny about, ever. All of the guests, hosts and presenters will be more concerned about saying the right things in regard to politics and the #MeToo movement than on being entertaining. (Heck, the first thing they'll have to deal with is whether or not to be interviewed by Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet -- while a dozen other entertainment reporters ask "Who made that black dress you're wearing?")

Add to that the fact that many of the nominated films are fairly dark (and/or controversial in different ways), while most of the viewing public probably hasn't actually seen very many of them.

I'm guessing Jimmy Kimmel is actually grateful about the Best Picture snafu from last year, since it will give him something easy to joke about. That, and he'll probably make a lot of references to "Black Panther," the one movie that people feel good about and was very entertaining -- despite the fact that it's too new to have been nominated for anything this year. Other than that, good luck, Jimmy -- you're going to need it.

Dhruv said...

Of the names you mentioned - Jon Stewart and David Letterman were not so great.

Ellen Degeneres - only the opening monologue held up.

Whoopi Goldberg was really good with her Disney joke and also ridiculed the stars and their ribbons.

Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin were fine.

Chris Rock to me was really good because he hosted the show in a very difficult year. That year with all the controversies, everyone was looking at his monologue. He handled it deftly. But then frittered it away with the cookies bit.

He was brilliant in his first gig too. Best was the 80$ check and Tobey Maguire jokes and the less funny one was him making fun of Jude Law. Hollywood didn't like that and Sean Penn immediately expressed his displeasure.

Lastly Seth. Asking him to host and him accepting was a mutual mistake. They knew he will roast the celebrities and also he knew Hollywood hated him. Don't know why he did it? His best joke was the introduction of Meryl Streep.

He later on apologized, sort of, thru his Family Guy cut away gag https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W0MlUBFFxA

Jimmy was not great nor bad.

My expectation of jokes:
1. Make fun of Bonnie and Clyde.
2. Make fun of that accountant who botched up - who looks like Matt Damon.
3. Some Matt Damon prank.
4. Mean Tweets - Oscar edition.
5. Some gag involving tourists or pedestrians similar to his show.

Peter said...

Ken, you'll be pleased to hear that Mel Gibson got worst supporting actor at the Razzies for Daddy's Home 2.

Jeff said...

Jimmy has said that he will not talk about the #MeToo movement. His masters at the Academy have given the orders I suppose.

Also no black dress or any protest, Academy has told everyone to behave.

So, we are in for 5 Hrs of boring crap, where everyone pretends that nothing has happened. And as though Harvey Weinstein was never a part of them.

David P said...

Greatest Oscar moment ever:

Oprah, Uma.

Uma, Oprah.

Mike Bloodworth said...

While I'm slightly too young to remember Bob Hope's run as the host of The Academy Awards© I do remember Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal. I enjoyed them both. As for the ceremony itself, WHO CARES?! I can't afford to go see movies at the theater. I don't have cable or Netflix. I'm not active in SAG/AFTRA anymore, so I no longer get screeners. In fact, the last nominated movie I saw was The Revenent. Back when I was just an extra I had some interest in The Oscars© because I felt it was part of the job to keep up with the industry. But tonight, I'll probably be watching reruns of The Big Bang Theory.
M.B.

Myles Warden said...

Very observant and totally spot on with these remarks! Steve and Alec were solid and Chris did great in a very awkward situation.

Jacob said...


Kimmel is the worst host. Horrible person.

I personally hate him for making fun of physically challenged people. Many times he has done it. He made fun of a Blind person, who happened to be my friend. He sends a crew outside the studio and makes fun of the passerby, to which the studio audience laugh.

Handicapped people like me, don't need sympathy; but please leave us alone. Don't make fun of us to get a few laughs from the moron audience in the studio.

Earl Boebert said...

Mike Bloodworth: Guy's Grocery Games is on as well. It's a cheerful, harmless, inane piece of fluff, perfect for the occasion. Plus there's a chance to pick up a cooking tip :-)

therealshell said...

Who better to host the first WOKE edition of the Oscars than the former co-host of The Man Show ?

Greg Ehrbar said...

My favorite Oscar moment was when Johnny Carson was hosting and a sound engineer named Alan Splet was, I think, a winner for The Black Stallion. (I looked it up just now on imdb and that was his win.

For some reason he was delayed and Carson made in into a running gag, keeping us informed about the whereabouts of Alan Splet. Carson zeroed in, instinctively, on a name that was amusing but not to silly so as not to be ridiculing the person, yet created a comedy gem thread that kept my family laughing.

It was the sort of thing that Letterman should have done but didn't.

Life is too short. Gotta fit in the quality alone. Tonight, I think we might be watching The Danny Kaye Show with guests Rickie Layne and Velvel. Then we look up who won, see the highlights on YouTube and listen to and read Ken's peppy comments.

And by the way, I saw most of the movies, and they are quite good. But moody. That Daniel Day-Lewis can sure chew his omelettes with grim intensity. I'm going to try that next time at Marie Callender's.

blinky said...

Dave Chappell should have hosted the Grammys.

Buttermilk Sky said...

I just listened to your podcast to get in the mood. Are you familiar with Mark Harris's terrific book "Pictures at the Revolution"? Long before Weinstein and SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, the studio that made DR. DOLITTLE put on a huge campaign which got a Best Picture nomination for this frankly lousy movie. (This was the year of BONNIE & CLYDE, THE GRADUATE and other notable films.) Harris is especially good on the ceremony itself, which had to be postponed until after the funeral of Martin Luther King, to the displeasure of people like Bob Hope. Yes, it was in April in 1968.

Daniel AH said...

Five words for potention hosts: Steve Martin and Martin Short. Together

Fiorello said...

Whoever wins best actress and actor should be the hosts for the following year.

Terrence Moss said...

How did Whoopi flame out? She was great ALL FOUR TIMES.

Breadbaker said...

Pictures at the Revolution is a wonderful book.

Myles Warden said...

If you live in LA and have time to stand in line you can see movies for free.

Cristina Graziella said...

Like always, you are so right Ken!

Anne D. Winnurizz said...

Another full vote for Martin & Baldwin, and twice for Rock. Letterman's performance was better than the legend; he took lukewarm reviews and turned them into a multi-year bit on his show.

Ellen DeGeneres was slightly bland but generally likeable, which pretty much describes Ellen DeGeneres. Stewart and Goldberg were adequate. Billy Crystal was providing diminishing returns well before his sabbatical.

And eleventeen and a half stars for Mark Harris' "Pictures at a Revolution" book, one of the best ever on film history.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

I will always have a soft spot for Whoopi Goldberg as host for defying the decision of the In Memoriam team to leave him out and paying a tribute to Gene Siskel.

wg

Craig Gustafson said...

What's the gauge for judging hosts? The audience in the theater, the viewers, or everybody? I have friends who host an Oscar party every year, so I'm usually in a crowd, watching the show. Many times, the host has gotten huge laughs; then the next day we're told how much he/she sucked.

BobinVT said...

Seth McFarlane had the balls to use his hosting gig to mock Harvey Weinstein when everyone else was still looking the other way or cowering in fear of him.

Liggie said...

That Kimmel is gone. He has a special needs child now, and is now a health care activist.

MikeN said...

Seth MacFarlane does a song about boobs, while Kimmel says this statue has no penis.

Chris Rock didn't flame out. Maybe the audience in the theater didn't like him, but at home he was pretty popular. And is the ENTIRE audience up for an award? I figure it's only like 100 people or so.

MikeN said...

I don't see how you can say an Oscar host flamed out when they were asked to host again.
Whoopi hosted 4 times, Chris Rock was asked back two years ago.

Here are the one time hosts who can be argued flamed out in the last 50 years
David Letterman
John Stewart
Alec Baldwin(who I thought did fine alongside Steve Martin)
James Franco
Anne Hathaway
Hugh Jackman
Seth MacFarlane
Neil Patrick Harris

Many of above are recent hosts and could get invited back. Hugh Jackman's performance won Anne Hathaway an Oscar, a their skit caused them to be cast in Les Miserables.

cadavra said...

Jon Stewart also came back a second time.

Letterman's stint wasn't so awful, but he saw the humor in turning it into his personal "Horn Blows at Midnight." He was in fact invited back, but declined, saying, "Why ruin such a great running joke?"

Guts McGee said...

Seth McFarlane had the balls to use his hosting gig to mock Harvey Weinstein when everyone else was still looking the other way or cowering in fear of him.


By doing a generic "casting couch" joke that could just as easily have been told word for word by Johnny Carson 45 years ago about Robert Evans, or 30 years before that by Bob Hope about David Selznick?

Oh, that we were privileged to witness this profile in courage!

Stubblejumpers Cafe said...

Every time I hear Jimmy Kimmel speak, I like him more.
His hosting was just right.
-Kate