The Golden Globes Proved the Oscars 2019 Don't Need a Host
Despite Ellen DeGeneres’ best efforts, Kevin Hart has still not returned to the Oscars hosting gig he abandoned in December after his past homophobic tweets resurfaced, and the Academy has still not found a replacement host.
But the Golden Globes on Sunday, January 6, had us thinking the Oscars don’t need a host — and would arguably do better without a celebrity dutifully emceeing the A-list affair.
Don’t get us wrong: We have nothing but admiration for 2019 Golden Globes hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh — and especially Sandra Oh, who pushed past her trepidation and hosted with heartfelt aplomb. She and Samberg both did extraordinary jobs, and by the way, they were funny as hell. (Just ask the tissue-worthy cast of This Is Us.)
We certainly have no quibbles with Oh and Samberg as hosts, only a hunch that the time of awards show hosts might be up. Much of a host’s responsibility at these prestigious ceremonies is to introduce the introducers, so to speak. And as we saw Sunday — and during other award shows of recent memory — some of the funniest moments came from those presenters. Take Maya Rudolph’s shaky-handed proposal to Amy Poehler, for example. Or Steve Carell’s assessment that Carol Burnett makes Tom Hanks looks like a, well, you-know-what.
— Asha Kodithuwakku (@AshaKodi) January 7, 2019
Here’s another inalienable truth: Awards shows almost always go long. This year's Golden Globes ceremony wore on into its third hour and beyond, the presenters’ introductions got more and more cursory. Husband-and-wife co-presenters Felicity Huffman and William H. Macy just said, “Witty banter, witty banter,” in lieu of the actually witty banter we’ve seen them deliver. And by the time it was Nicole Kidman’s time to present, homegirl didn’t even time to make any remarks or jokes whatsoever.
Going the no-host route and forgoing the opening monologue would not only leave more time for the presenters to make their comments — and for the nominees to get their due praise — it would also leave more time for the winners to actually give thoughtful acceptance speeches. We’re certainly not advocating for more acceptance speech time so that winners can thank their dog walkers and their tax preparers, but we would definitely appreciate more time to hear what women like Glenn Close and Regina King have to say.
Close, for one, brought the house to its feet with her insistence that women be allowed to be ambitious amid the gendered expectations that they be nurturing. And earlier in the night, King almost got played off the stage — after far less time onstage than Close had, we should add — before she could get to her pledge to hire at least 50 percent women in all the projects she produces over the next two years.
Even more awkward than the producers queuing the “get off the stage” music during King’s speech was them cutting off the music once they realized they were, in effect, silencing a Hollywood powerhouse with a powerful message.
So now that Oh and Samberg have left us on a high note, let’s see how we do without an awards show host for once. The Oscars don’t need Hart to have heart, after all.