We're still half a year away from the 85th annual Academy Awards, but it turns out the host and producer were almost already decided.
Before he left his position as Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president, Tom Sherak reportedly tried to lock down Jimmy Fallon as host and Lorne Michaels as producer for next year's Oscars. The Los Angeles Times and Deadline offer up two different versions of the events, and it's unclear whether Fallon is still a contender for the position now that Sherak is gone.
Apparently one of the big issues with having Fallon as host is the fact that he has long been a staple of NBC, the rival network of ABC. Both "Saturday Night Live" and "Late Night with Jimmy Fallon" are NBC shows, and the latter is a direct competitor to ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" So despite Fallon's good run at the 2010 Emmys and his hosting gigs at the 2009 VMAs and 2006 and 2001 MTV Movie Awards, it sounds like this actually may not be his year to host the Oscars after all.
While I think Fallon is a funny comedian and enjoy his late night show, I don't think he would make for the best Oscars host. He's a goofy, giggly guy, which certainly has its place in the comedy world, but doesn't quite fit with the self-important Academy Awards persona. I can just picture him breaking out laughing in the middle of a sketch that he's supposed to be performing and cringe.
At the same time, Fallon has really blossomed in his years as a late night TV host. He's got a great relationship with many celebrities in Hollywood and always manages to get some great material from them. I'm sure he could pull off some great bits during the show, but that might not be enough to support the entire event. Honestly I think he needs a few more years under his belt: look at Anne Hathaway and James Franco's hosting gig and compare it to last year's performance by Billy Crystal.
It does seem smart to bring a comedian on as host, though. And late night celebs like Jon Stewart and David Letterman have done a great job at the Oscars in the past. I think that Jimmy Kimmel would actually make for a great host this year, which would work out better for ABC. He also has great relationships with celebs (please go watch "I'm F--king Ben Affleck" right this second if you haven't already) and his humor can be both grounded and goofy at the same time (look at his "Celebrities Read Mean Tweets" video), all of which are elements the Academy is likely looking for. He's an everyman, and that's a quality that works great in these circumstances. Fallon would probably do a fine job as a host too, but I personally wouldn't be too heartbroken if it took him a few more years to get the gig.
Do you think Fallon would be a good host for the Oscars? Tell us in the comments section below or on Twitter!