On Wednesday, Kevin Hart definitively ruled out hosting the Oscars on “Good Morning America,” even though he had been prodded to reconsider during an interview with Ellen DeGeneres.
So who is going to host the 2019 Academy Awards? Is anyone?
It’s unclear. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has said nothing publicly about it and did not respond to a request for comment.
What do we know?
The Oscars are slated to be broadcast on Feb. 24 on ABC, a little over six weeks away. If there is to be a host, unless it’s a last-second reveal, one would have to be announced soon to get ready for the broadcast. The lack of preparation time is one reason Hart gave for not reconsidering the job.
It should be noted: Robert Iger, chief executive of Disney, which owns ABC, told Variety on the Golden Globes red carpet that he was “open-minded” about Hart coming back as host if Hart apologized for past Twitter posts and a joke that were deemed homophobic.
What have we heard?
On Wednesday, Variety, citing anonymous sources, reported that the academy was planning to broadcast the ceremony without a host at all. Instead, a roster of top Hollywood stars would rotate through and introduce categories. The report suggested that the academy would do away with the traditional opening monologue.
If true, it would be the first time in three decades that the Oscars would proceed without a host. The last time there was no emcee, in 1989, Rob Lowe made, um, history for his duet with Snow White.
Perhaps fearing that Thanos would make half the Oscar ratings disappear, the creative team behind the Oscars is also reportedly trying to reunite as much of the cast of Marvel’s “Avengers” franchise as possible to play a role on the telecast, according to another anonymously sourced report, this one from The Hollywood Reporter. That article also said that cast members of the Marvel juggernaut were asked not to be presenters at the Golden Globes, to ensure that their appearance at the Oscars would be more superpowerful, er, powerful.
And just to map out all the ways corporate synergy plays a part here: The final “Avengers” movie — “Avengers: Endgame” — is due April 26, and this would undoubtedly help the movie’s marketing. Marvel is owned by Disney, and Disney owns ABC, which is broadcasting the ceremony.
If Hart hosted, what would it have looked like?
We got a small preview of what a Hart-led Oscars would look like on Wednesday, when he appeared on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.”
“I was going to be good. I had some stuff. I had some heat,” Hart told Colbert.
Some of the jokes were about memes. Hart said he wanted to break the tension since “they’re not there to laugh, because everybody’s waiting for their moment.” He would tell everyone to relax and not become a meme. Colbert then proceeded to share some of Hart’s examples of previous awards-show memes, like one of Nicole Kidman being caught midclap (Hart referred to her “boomerang” hands), and another one of Meryl Streep yelling from the audience.
“The whole intent behind them would be, you don’t want to be that, so relax, loosen up and have a good time,” Hart said. “Then I was going to go into a bunch of crazy bits. It was going to be fire,” Hart said.
When Colbert asked Hart who he thought should host, Hart said, “Whoever is wanting and willing of the job.”