Sacha Baron Cohen Almost Hosted the Oscars

Do you know how close we got to an Oscars at which the opening monologue was delivered through the host’s talking penis? Not very, thanks to the quick thinking of AMPAS’s leadership. But gym-going telecast co-producer Adam Shankman’s first choice for an emcee this year was Sacha Baron Cohen, he told NPR’s Terry Gross yesterday. Shankman says he and co-producer Bill Mechanic met for lunch just after they’d been hired and immediately settled on Baron Cohen to host, but the Academy “swatted it down” because the Borat-portraying comedian would’ve been “too big of a wild card” and could have overshadowed the nominees. Even as bloggers whose jobs are made easier by funny things happening on television, we think Baron Cohen might have been a little much for Oscar night — but what makes this so infuriating is that it’s not the only thing Shankman wanted and couldn’t get.

Shankman says he’s also had trouble lining up presenters:

There are so many awards shows that come before the Oscars that they kind of cannibalize the Oscars and the specialness of the Oscars. “I’m overexposed, I don’t want to do the show because I’ve been to the Golden Globes, the Grammys, the SAG Awards, and the Haiti tribute.” They don’t want to come on the show if they’re not actually nominated, and it’s horrible. That means they’re not being part of their industry. It’s the Super Bowl of the year.

Maybe to make up for everything, Sacha Baron Cohen could interview Shankman in his next movie? We’d be interested to hear more about how the Haiti “tribute” ruined his Oscars.

Sacha Baron Cohen, Oscar host? No way, says Academy [HR]
Shankman’s Winning Job: Producing The Oscars [Fresh Air/NPR]

Sacha Baron Cohen Almost Hosted the Oscars