The Globes' and Oscars' new hosts: Dancing at the comedic edge

Updated: 2013-01-11 09:47


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Ratner swiftly resigned and Murphy exited shortly thereafter, leaving the Academy scrambling for replacements before bringing in Billy Crystal to host for a ninth time. "What the Oscars have to acknowledge is that this is the industry's family reunion, and who presides over a family reunion? A beloved family insider," said O'Neil.

The Globes' and Oscars' new hosts: Dancing at the comedic edge
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Crystal became known for parodying the Best Picture nominees by inserting himself digitally into scenes from the movies. Five-time Oscar host Johnny Carson, on the other hand, delivered memorable one-liners, like his 1979 quip to the celebrity-packed audience, "I see a lot of new faces ... especially on the old faces."

Steve Martin, who has hosted three times, went off script in 2003 when he pointed out that action star Vin Diesel had better seats than veteran Hollywood actor Mickey Rooney.

Such hosts had the authority to make such jokes and get away with it, which is why the combination of Franco and Hathaway was doomed from the start, Feinberg said.

"Two young people with young careers ‑ who are they going to make fun of?" he said. "They're not in a position to do that."

Yet even comedians need to understand the needs of a movie industry crowd that considers Oscar night the most important event of the year, and the Globes a close second. Hosts have to walk a careful line between edgy humor and evisceration.

Can these new hosts pull that off? The suspense could be just as compelling as the anticipation of what's inside all those envelopes.

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