Thursday, November 10, 2011

Have The Muppets Host The Oscars

So now that Eddie Murphy has pulled out of hosting the Academy Awards and Brett Ratner has exposed himself as a dumbass (I know, right? What a shocker! The director of X-Men 3 turns out to be a dope.…who saw that coming?!), this spring's Oscar ceremony is suddenly having to start from scratch. Brian Grazer has already been brought in as the show's new producer but since the hosting gig is obviously more high-profile, that's where everyone is focusing their attention.

Now, I'll be honest, I love watching the Oscars just because it's The Oscars. Outside of the opening number and monologue, the host usually doesn't bring much to the actual show itself. Their duties the rest of the time are just to introduce people and maybe participate in one or two more skits over the course of the night, so even if the host is terrible (i.e. James Franco), their spotlighted portion of the ceremony is surprisingly small. So, frankly, the host isn't a drawing card for me personally, though I realize I'm in the minority on this one. I was interested to see if Murphy could bring back some of his old 1980's mojo to the job but if he hadn't, it certainly wouldn't have made or broken the show for me.

Given Grazer's lengthy career and number of major stars he's worked with in the past, there's no shortage of hosting options. They could bring back a former host (Billy Crystal has apparently already turned it down, but you could also go the route of Steve Martin, Ellen Degeneres, Hugh Jackman or Jon Stewart again), bring in someone like Neil Patrick Harris who's proven adept at hosting every other awards show on TV, or perhaps Grazer brings in the big gun of Tom Hanks, who can do comedy, bring gravitas and is Mr. Academy Award already. Oscar host seems like a natural move for Hanks as he settles into the "beloved Hollywood legend" portion of his career.

But, to paraphrase that guy from Blazing Saddles….never mind that shit, here comes Gonzo! I am 1000% behind the mounting online campaign to have the Muppets host the Academy Awards.

Talk about a perfect way to totally escape the stink of the Ratner controversy. The Muppets have the new movie out, the characters are universally beloved, and virtually every plot in Muppets history is about the gang putting on a show --- what better way to cap that off than to have them put on the biggest show in the business?

The possibilities are endless. The Swedish Chef cooking the food for the after-show party. Statler and Waldorf up in the balcony, cracking all the jokes that are too mean for Kermit to say. Miss Piggy comparing how she's dressed to the clothes of every actress in the building. Fozzy Bear delivering even hackier jokes than the ones Bruce Vilanch already writes. Rowlf and the Electric Mayhem in the orchestra pit playing people off. Amy Adams and Jason Segel can easily step in for the parts of the show that require actual humans, since it would be odd to have the list of recently-deceased actors be introduced by, say, Sam The Eagle. Then again, watch this clip, dry your eyes and try to tell me the Muppets can't pull off emotional moments.

A Muppet-hosted Oscars is a can't-miss, solid-gold idea. Sure, there's a chance it would somehow offend Sean Penn, but…..wait, that isn't a downside.

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