After Kevin Hart was chosen and then unchosen to be the host of the 91st annual Academy Awards ceremony (taking place on Sunday, February 24th), the race to find a new Oscar host was fast and frantic. And then it was determined that there wouldn't be a host at all.
While a host isn't technically needed—outside of an opening monologue and a few pre-taped segments, what's it all about, Alfie?—the show is believed to be anchored by the woman or man who serves as the Master of Ceremonies. So if the Academy had decided to find a new host, who could they have chosen? We have a few suggestions.
First, a note about the title of this article: you will note that it says that we're counting down the top five hosts, and yet 10 people are listed below. That's because we grouped some of the hosts together as one full package, an unbreakable act that can't be separated, if you will. Feel free to let us know who you think should've hosted in Kevin Hart's absence below.
With Crazy Rich Asians cementing its status as the breakout hit of 2018 (and Sundance hit The Farewell cementing its status as one of the breakout hits of 2019), the Queens-bred Awkwafina would be a solid choice to host the Oscars. She's hip, talented, and funny, and those usually come in handy when having to anchor the more serious nature of the big show.
4. Michael Che and Colin Jost
These two Saturday Night Live anchors recently hosted the 2018 Emmy Awards, so why not give them a shot at "the grander stage of film?" Che and Jost have remarkable chemistry with one another and they aren't afraid to go for piercing, biting humor that really hits. Give them a chance as a duo at the Dolby Theater where they can literally stand-up and showcase their work.
3. Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph
After making a splash presenting at last year's Oscar ceremony, why not let Rudolph and Haddish host the entire show? Their opening monologue would be killer and their pre-taped segments (oh, the possibilities) would be entertaining and hopefully ruffle a few establishment feathers.
2. Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg
The film school brats reunited! Now this may seem like an odd choice, but the amount of Hollywood history within these four men are second-to-none, and the closest we got to seeing them all together was when three of them presented Scorsese with his long overdue Academy Award for The Departed. I say split them up throughout the telecast, bringing them together only for the Best Director prize toward the end of the evening.
1. Eddie Murphy
I urge you to watch the above clip to hear Eddie Murphy's impassioned speech about race and the film industry. Over 30 years later, the impromptu speech still resonates. While Murphy was slated to host the Oscars several years ago (with Brett Ratner directing the telecast), he eventually stepped down, robbing viewers of what could have been a hilariously poignant, socially conscious evening of digs at the industry.