With last week's announcement from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that Ricky Gervais, the Great White Snark, would emcee the Golden Globes, I thought that HFPA had trumped the Oscars. Then yesterday, announcing Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin as Oscar co-hosts, Academy Awards producers bet that on awards shows, as in poker, two kings of comedy are better than one.
The frequent Saturday Night Live fixtures -- who shared a memorable SNL skit on who was a better host of the late-night show -- have a comic competition going. Martin greeted yesterday's announcement with, "I look forward to co-hosting the Oscars with my enemy Alec Baldwin."
Martin previously emceed two Oscar ceremonies with great aplomb, ingratiating himself both to home audience and that in the auditorium. For me, he's the best Oscar host since Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal, able to rib the big egos in the room because he himself is one of them. ( It's a skill that Chris Rock and Jon Stewart, hilarious as they are, do not possess.) Martin's understated delivery should play well off of Baldwin's bluster. (Still, I wish it was Tina Fey, Baldwin's 30 Rock co-star , instead of Baldwin who was tapped instead of Baldwin.)
Martin and Baldwin co-star in the upcoming Nancy Meyers comedy It's Complicated in which they play the ex- and current bf of Meryl Streep. At next year's Oscars, there will be Streep jokes, to be sure. (And perhaps a Streep win for her jolly role as Julia Child in Julie & Julia.) So: Your favorite Oscar host? Why? Or is the discussion of best Oscar host ludicrous as that of best Titanic skipper?