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Jon Stewart Favored to Host the Oscars

Don Aguero

by Don Aguero in Entertainment

Dec 18, 2018 · 11:29 AM PST

Jon Stewart
Jon Stewart walked away from the limelight just before the 2016 election. Now he's favored to host the Oscars in 2019. Photo by Cliff (flickr) [CC License]
  • The Academy Awards are still without a host after Kevin Hart unexpectedly walked away from the role
  • Former late night host Jon Stewart is now the favorite to take over as host
  • With the ceremony in February, a “No Host” situation is becoming a real possibility

The Oscars are still without a host!

It’s been two weeks since the Kevin Hart debacle and the Academy is still scrambling to find someone to accept Hollywood’s most thankless job. Time is quickly running out to find a replacement and the prospect of no host at all is now a very real possibility.

It seems no one wants the gig, and it’s not hard to understand why. The Oscars have been pulling in dismal numbers over the past few years and the blame usually falls squarely on the host. It seems they can never strike the right balance. They’re either too bland or too controversial, too broad or too edgy. There’s no winning!

Saturday Night Live summed it up with a skit last weekend: “Who will risk everything for the chance to gain nothing?”

Odds to Host the 91st Academy Awards

Who Will Host the 91st Academy Awards? Odds
Jon Stewart +400
Jimmy Kimmel +500
No Host +600
Tiffany Haddish & Maya Rudolph +600
Key & Peele +800
Neil Patrick Harris +800
Lin-Manuel Miranda +1200
Jimmy Fallon +1400
Tina Fey & Amy Poehler +1500
Will Ferell / John C. Riley +1500
Andy Samberg +1600
Ricky Gervais +1800
Kate McKinnon & Kristen Wig +1800
Chris Rock +2400
Dwayne Johnson +2500
John Mulaney & Nick Kroll +2500
Melissa McCarthy +2500
Amy Schumer +2600
Seth Meyers +2600
Ellen DeGeneres +3300
Emma Stone +3300
Kristen Bell +3300
Ryan Reynolds +3300
Donald Glover +4000
Hannah Gadsby +4000
Billy Eichner +5000
Awkwafina +5000
Ken Jeong +6000

Ellen Has (Mostly) Ruled Herself Out

Ellen DeGeneres opened as the betting favorite to replace Kevin Hart, but now she’s at a long +3300 odds. The day-time host did an amazing job in 2014, pulling in the best ratings in over a decade and navigating all the landmines that comes with hosting.

But it seems Ellen doesn’t want the gig. She’s already hosted the event twice before, and had to be begged into taking it in 2014. She stopped just short of ruling herself out for 2019, telling USA Today, “It’s probably a 99.9% ‘No’.”

If we’re using the newest numbers provided by sportsbooks, she’s actually a 97.06% “No”.

Jon Stewart is the New Favorite

Jon Stewart has gone from a long-odds outsider (+1200  on December 18th) to now being the favorite at +400. The former Daily Show host took on the Oscars gig in 2008 and it was a rousing success in every way except for… well, the ratings.

Jon Stewart has gone from a long-odds outsider (+1200  on December 18th) to now being the favorite at +400.

Without a time-slot to showcase his comedic talents, Stewart has occasionally appeared as a guest on other late night shows to let off some steam. Perhaps the Academy Awards is his perfect outlet. He may be one of the few A-list celebrities willing to accept the role.

As much as we would like to see Jon Stewart return to our screens, the odds being offered are far too short. Stewart has given no sign of even wanting the role.

Value Picks: Hannah Gadsby (+4000) and No Host (+600)

In the same way the chances of a No-deal Brexit increases as the deadline approaches, a “No Host” Oscars (+600) looks more likely as we head towards February. Two months is very little time to prepare for the job, and increasingly it looks like no one wants it anyway. Instead of dumping all the baggage on a single person, the Academy may choose to spread the hosting duties.

And then there’s still my long-odds contender, Hannah Gadsby (+4000), who’s odds haven’t shifted since the betting line opened. The fact that SNL parodied her in their Oscars skit means she’s at least in the conversation to host the Awards.

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