- 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|
|Tiffany Haddish & Maya Rudolph||+600|
|Key & Peele||+800|
|Neil Patrick Harris||+800|
|Tina Fey & Amy Poehler||+1500|
|Will Ferell / John C. Riley||+1500|
|Kate McKinnon & Kristen Wig||+1800|
|John Mulaney & Nick Kroll||+2500|
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.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.