Looks like we’re playing it safe this year as producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced Ellen DeGeneres as the host of the Academy Awards in 2014. Last year, Seth MacFarlane took the stage to mostly panned reviews, despite his freshand brash humor. Nothing against Ellen, as I think she’s great and on the occasions of seeing her show, have been ultimately impressed, however I was preparing myself for something new and exciting. Golden Globes found the dynamite pairing in Tina Fey and Amy Poehler that would have done wonders for the program, but as they’re going in for round two at the Globes, they couldn’t pull double duty.
The 79th Academy Awards ceremony in 2009 saw Ellen hosting, which also got her a nomination for a Primetime Emmy® nomination for “Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.” And she was highly regarded. But that’s not the point. We know she can entertain, just like we know Billy Crystal can host, because he’s done it nine times. But bring someone who can make it their own. Yes, we know Anne Hathaway and James Franco were not great picks, but give it to someone more enigmatic like Robert Downey Jr. or even talk show host Conan O’Brien. There’s hundreds of names that come to mind besides someone who’s done it before.
Yes, Ellen will do a fine job and there will be no next-day-buzz about the shocking host moments. Instead, we’ll look forward to next year, hoping they finally go with someone new. But the 86th annual Academy Awards will probably not feature any highlight hosting moments and for that it will probably be quite forgettable.