×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Host controls show’s tempo

Emcee has to sense the flow, Steinberg sez

When Billy Crystal announced in December that he had to pass on hosting the Oscars, he suggested an alternate: Jim Carrey.

No joke. The seven-time Oscars emcee, who has put his stamp on the proceedings with his trademark opening song-and-dance montages of film nominees, said the host should be “someone associated with the movies.” No one would argue that Carrey doesn’t meet that requirement, but the creator of characters like Fire Marshall Bill (“In Living Color”) and Ace Ventura could be a strange fit as the master of ceremonies for Hollywood’s biggest night.

David Letterman’s attempt to strait-jacket his ironic wit into the host’s tuxedo (“Uma meet Oprah. Oprah meet Uma.”) in 1995 led to some unflattering reviews. Despite pulling in healthy ratings (32.5, 53 share) the latenight talkshow host’s voyage into big-time primetime is an indication that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences needs to look beyond fame and humor when tapping its master of ceremonies.

David Steinberg, Crystal’s longtime manager who has helped write for the Oscarcasts, believes the host needs to be someone who can sense the ebb and flow of the show. “It’s a three-hour-plus broadcast, and to host it, you have to ride the wave,” Steinberg says. “Billy can ride with the silences of comedy.”

Steinberg notes that a good host should never forget that the show and the awards are the star of the evening.

“You have to have an innate love and respect for the movies and the TV show,” Steinberg says, adding his belief that Steve Martin should do a terrific job come March 25.

Ironically, Carrey’s move into more serious Oscar-worthy fare could be a drawback if he were to agree to serve as host, as being present onstage all night could take away from that statuette-win moment.

“From a manager’s standpoint, if I had a client that was going to win an Oscar, I don’t think that I’d want him to host,” says Dave Rath, a manager at 3 Arts Entertainment whose clients include Janeane Garofalo and Patton Oswalt.

Using a metaphor he attributes to Garofalo, Rath says that these kind of awards evenings are like the high school prom, and the host is the class clown. The school quarterback and the head cheerleader can’t be the emcee, because that would take away from them being crowned king and queen of the prom.

More Film

  • Black Panther

    'Black Panther,' 'Crazy Rich Asians,' 'Westworld' Among Costume Designers Guild Winners

    “Crazy Rich Asians,” “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” walked away with top honors at the 21st annual Costume Designers Guild Awards Tuesday night, the final industry guild show before the Oscars on Feb. 24. “The Favourite” and “Black Panther” are up for the Oscar this year, along with “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” “Mary Poppins [...]

  • WGA Writers Contract Talks

    Talent Agents, WGA Achieve Progress in Second Round of Talks

    Hollywood talent agents and the Writers Guild of America have achieved some progress at their second negotiating session over agency regulations, according to sources close to the talks. The two sides met Tuesday, two weeks after their first meeting resulted in both sides criticizing each other, followed by the WGA holding a trio of spirited [...]

  • Aaron Paul

    Film News Roundup: Aaron Paul Honored by Sun Valley Film Festival

    In today’s film news roundup, Aaron Paul is honored, Bruce Berman is re-upped at Village Roadshow, and Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher get a book deal. FESTIVAL HONORS The Sun Valley Film Festival has selected Idaho native and three-time Emmy winner Aaron Paul as the winner of its Pioneer Award, presented by Variety for his [...]

  • Olivia Munn]EMILY'S List Pre-Oscars Brunch, Inside,

    Olivia Munn Says Brett Ratner Called Her Before His 'Howard Stern' Apology

    Olivia Munn is setting the record straight about standing up to “Rush Hour” director Brett Ratner, whom she alleges sexually harassed her over a decade ago. During a panel discussion at the Emily’s List pre-Oscars brunch at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills Tuesday morning, Munn revealed that Ratner called her in 2011 after he denied [...]

  • Flesh Out review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Flesh Out'

    Ignore the awful English-language title: “Flesh Out” is an emotionally rich, sensitively made film about a young woman in Mauritania forced to gain weight in order to conform to traditional concepts of well-rounded beauty before her impending marriage. Strikingly registering the sensations of a protagonist living between the dutiful traditions of her class and the [...]

  • Marighella review

    Berlin Film Review: 'Marighella'

    Does Brazil need a film that openly advocates armed confrontation against its far-right government? That’s the first question that needs to be asked when discussing “Marighella,” actor Wagner Moura’s directorial debut focused on the final year in the life of left-wing insurrectionist Carlos Marighella during Brazil’s ruthless military dictatorship. For whatever one might think of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content