Crowd favorite Neil Patrick Harris received a bit of criticism for his hosting of the 87th Annual Academy Awards, having been a bit “dull” for the liking of some viewers. I thought I would take a look at a few past Academy Awards hosts, and compare their ability to entertain and amuse with that of Harris.
Do not get me wrong, I am a huge NPH fan, and I think his hosting of the Tony Awards for the last like 20 years in a row have all been brilliant, but something fell short with this particular ceremony. The opening number was flashy in true NPH fashion, with beautiful lights and talented dancers, and it set the bar fairly high for the rest of the night to live up to.
However, it did not, which was very disappointing to say the least. I am not sure if the writing was just bad or what exactly happened, but the quality of the show was dull; I fell asleep the night of, and had to watch the recording the next day.
The worst part of it all was the fact that most viewers were expecting the same level of humor that the host of the 86th Annual Academy Awards, Ellen Degeneres, presented the audience with just a year prior.
Degeneres was arguably the best host that this generation will see, carrying what can so easily be a very boring three-and-a-half hour long ceremony with ease and impeccable comedic timing. Her jokes were tasteful, with the exception of a Liza Minelli joke that maybe pushed the envelope a tad too far.
Degeneres did not just do a good job hosting, she was able to leave her mark on the ceremony forever. She broke the internet with a crowded selfie featuring all of Hollywood’s A-List celebrities and Lupita Nyong’o’s little brother, and (for the first time ever) served pizza to the audience. When combined with funny jokes and overall charisma, these things made Degeneres an iconic Oscars host.
Funny man Seth MacFarlane was the host ofo the 85th Annual Oscars. Although Macfarlane caught a lot of heat for his “disrespectful jokes”, I personally believe he did a great job hosting – a much better job than NPH, that is.
MacFarlane pushed the envelope with some of his jokes, obviously, as he is known to do. He sang a song about actresses showing their breasts in films, aptly titled “We Saw Your Boobs”, which received the most criticism that night.
Many, including critic Dana Stevens, bordered on calling him misogynistic for that particular gag, but I personally thought it was hilarious. Unfortunately, though, much like NPH, his opening was the best part, and the rest of the show was dull.
Although both those men fell short of going into the Hosts Hall of Fame, at least they were not Anne Hathaway and James Franco. The combination of Franco’s glassy eyes and inability to read a teleprompter at the correct time made it very obvious that he was stoned out of his mind, and Hathaway overcompensated for the lack of a lucid cohost by giving an annoyingly over-the-top, unfunny performance, which made every aspect of the show just horribly cringe-worthy.
Overall, NPH gave a mediocre performance, but perhaps he would have made more of an impact if his jokes were funnier. He is usually a great host, so I will place the blame on the writers for this flop.
What did you think? Who was your least favorite Oscars host? Leave it in the comments below!