chat room

John Hodgman on the Charlie Sheen Joke He Wished He Could’ve Told at the Emmys

While we wait with bated breath for Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic to announce their choice to host the 2010 Oscars, we’ve been devoting some time to thinking about what sort of elements from other awards shows the good people at AMPAS could incorporate into their presentation this year. And of course, our minds immediately flashed back to John Hodgman’s hilariously wry work as a color commentator at this year’s Emmys. Well, it just so happens that we caught up with none other than the former professional literary agent and Mr. PC himself after last night’s Bored to Death panel discussion at New York’s Paley Center for Media — more on that in a bit! — and asked him to regale us with jokes that he didn’t get a chance to use at the Emmys, as well as give us his choice for who would make the best Oscar host this year.

“We wrote something for every nominee,” Hodgman explained to us in a dimly lit room on the eleventh floor of the Paley Center. “I wrote a few of the things. They had great writers on the show who wrote a few of them, and some of them we just decided to play straight. You know, you’re not going to crack on Jessica Lange. No one’s going to enjoy that. It’s just mean.”

We pressed on, determined to find out who Hodgman and his co-conspirators in quippyness would have been interested in ripping on. Thankfully, Hodgman obliged. “It was not my joke, but it’s one that I kind of wish we had a chance to say, but I’m sorta glad I didn’t have a chance to. If Charlie Sheen had won, we were gonna say, ‘What can you say about Charlie Sheen? [Long pause] Not that. No, not that. Definitely can’t say that.’”

And now, seeing as Hodgman has some significant awards-show experience under his belt, we prodded him to give us his choice to host the 2010 Oscars. “Of course, I’d like to see Jon do it again, because I think he’s great at it,” he explained. “But if he’s not available, my mike skills have definitely improved. I’ve been hosting open-mike award shows all over town and getting a lot better!”

John Hodgman on the Charlie Sheen Joke He Wished He Could’ve Told at the Emmys