It has come to this: The Academy Awards are reportedly moving forward without a host for the Feb. 24 telecast, which is some six weeks away. Despite talk that Kevin Hart might do the show after Ellen DeGeneres encouraged him to recommit, Hart told “Good Morning America” host Michael Strahan on Wednesday, “I want everybody to know I’m done with it.”
The producers are instead going to enlist a number of A-List actors to come onstage and introduce the many different segments of the show, according to Variety. There will not be one comic opening the Oscars with a monologue, a comic who risks entering the crowded Oscars Hall of Fame of Bad Hosts, as David Letterman once did. If the show is awful, as it often is, we’ll have no single person to blame.
It sounds potentially chaotic, but it also sounds like the best possible thing to do right now. Let the Hart controversy fade, and let the Oscars, which have been suffering in the ratings along with all the other awards shows, try something different. The old Oscar telecast format has become particularly stale in recent years, and perhaps this emergency move by the Academy will help usher in new ideas.
At least now, without the host’s monologue and asides, the show will be shorter, right?Matthew Gilbert can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.