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Jon Stewart Back As Oscar Host, But We Have Better Ideas

Photo: Gina James / Retna

According to the Times, the Academy will announce today that Jon Stewart will return as the host for next year's Oscar ceremony. We're sure that Stewart, along with his crack sausage-fest of a writing team and Carrie Fisher, will do a wonderful job writing jokes and jabs and japes and whatnot for the telecast, but doesn't this announcement just make you sigh in anticipation of how long and boring the February ceremony will be, no matter how funny Stewart is?

A quick perusal of Wikipedia's complete list of past Oscar hosts reveals that maybe it's time for the Academy to go back to trends of yesteryear. The Oscar host role didn't used to be reserved for a single slightly edgy comedian (or a single washed-up comedian, in the case of Billy Crystal). Oscar ceremonies have had legitimately huge movie stars, authors, directors, groups of four or more, or even no one as host. Using these examples, we've come up with a few contemporary analogues as a way of helping the Academy look to the future … by looking to the past. In handy chart form!

Year Host 2007 Equivalent
1936 Author, humorist, and occasional actor Irvin S. Cobb. Author, humorist, and occasional actor David Sedaris.
1937 Populist director Frank Capra. Populist director Judd Apatow.
1946 Beloved movie star Jimmy Stewart. Beloved movie star Tom Hanks.
1959 Bob Hope, David Niven, Tony Randall, Mort Sahl, Jerry Lewis, and Laurence Olivier. No way! Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, and Peter O'Toole.
1974 John Huston, Burt Reynolds, David Niven, and Diana Ross. Francis Ford Coppola, Vince Vaughn, Ricky Gervais, and Jennifer Hudson. God, that would be great.
1977 Warren Beatty, Ellen Burstyn, Jane Fonda, and Richard Pryor. Jeez, really? That's impressive. Um, Matt Damon, Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, and Jamie Foxx.
1987 Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn, and Paul Hogan. This exact same trio would be exactly as relevant in 2007 as it was in 1987.
1939, 1942, 1948, 1969–1971, 1989 None. Ryan Seacrest.

Academy to Invite Jon Stewart Back as Oscar Host [NYT]
List of Academy Awards ceremonies [Wikipedia]
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