- Kevin Hart was booked to host the 91st Academy Awards.
- But then a few homophobic tweets resurfaced and the comedian was forced to walk away from the gig.
- Now the search is on for a new host; who will replace Hart to host the 2018 Oscars?
The 2019 Academy Awards ceremony is just two months away and there is no one to host the show!
Kevin Hart was initially booked for the role, which was a huge get for the Academy, but a few homophobic tweets from the early 2010s resurfaced and the diminutive comedian refused to apologize, instead stating that he had already dealt with those tweets in the past. The Academy demanded he apologize, but Hart refused and instead walked away from the gig.
Now the scramble for a replacement host begins. It’s an open secret that hosting the Oscars is a notoriously stressful gig, and big-name celebrities often don’t want anything to do with it. The job just doesn’t carry the same level of prestige anymore so it’s going to be increasingly difficult to find a household name to lead the show.
Who will end up hosting the 91st Academy Awards? There are a few names being thrown around in the rumor mill, but there is also another option being entertained — no host at all.
I have made the choice to step down from hosting this year's Oscar's….this is because I do not want to be a distraction on a night that should be celebrated by so many amazing talented artists. I sincerely apologize to the LGBTQ community for my insensitive words from my past.
— Kevin Hart (@KevinHart4real) December 7, 2018
Odds to Host the 91st Academy Awards
|Who will host the 91st Academy Awards?||Odds|
|Neil Patrick Harris||+700|
|Key & Peele||+800|
|Tina Fey & Amy Poehler||+1400|
|Will Ferell & John C. Reilly||+1400|
|Tiff Haddish & Maya Rudolph||+1500|
|Kate McKinnon & Kristen Wig||+1800|
|John Mulaney & Nick Kroll||+2500|
Ellen is the Favorite
Ellen DeGeneres (+400) opens as the favorite to replace Kevin Hart, and there’s no doubt the Academy would pounce at the opportunity to re-book the two-time host. She last hosted the awards in 2014, which pulled in almost 44 million viewers. The ratings have been on a steady decline ever since. In fact, we have to go all the way back to 1999 to find the last time the Oscars raked in a larger viewership.
The only question is: does Ellen want the part? She initially turned down the 2014 gig, citing the stress that came with hosting in 2007. So it seems unlikely she’ll return to host a third time. She’s already heralded as one of the few successful hosts within the last decade, so why would she follow-up with a show that will likely underwhelm?
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
Kimmel is Close Behind
Jimmy Kimmel (+600) has played host to the Oscars for the last two years, and so the ABC late-night host is a natural pick to host again in 2019. But the Awards last year saw an almost 20% drop in viewership, and the year before drew some dismal numbers, as well. A lot of criticism has been leveled at Kimmel and he’s bore the brunt of the blame for the sinking numbers. Why would he want to return?
Hollywood’s biggest names can do without the public onslaught that comes with hosting the Oscars. Instead, look to the up-and-comers when deciding who to pick.
The Other Frontrunners are not Good Bets
The other front-runners — Neil Patrick Harris (+700), Key and Peele (+800), Lin-Manuel Miranda (+800), and Jon Stewart (+1200) — are all well-established names in the entertainment industry. I don’t believe that’s where the value is. Hollywood’s biggest names can do without the public onslaught that comes with hosting the Oscars. Instead, look to the up-and-comers when deciding who to pick.
Hannah Gadsby is the Value Bet
Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby (+4000) made waves with her 2018 Netflix special Nanette, and a stint as an Oscars host could be the jolt that swings her into the Hollywood stratosphere. She’s also the perfect rebuke to Hart’s homophobic tweets; she is openly lesbian and her comedy centers around sexuality and social justice issues.
Pick: Hannah Gadsby (+4000)