Thanks to one silly little word by Brett Ratner and what was shaping up to be the worst Oscars ever are no more. With Ratner out as producer and Eddie Murphy stepping down as host, the Academy is starting from scratch.

So, if I was picking Oscar hosts, who would I pick? Here are some ideas.

Neil Patrick Harris

The obvious choice. NPH has proven himself to be a wonderful and game host both of the Tonys and the Emmys, so hopefully he would bring the same verve to the Oscars. Yes, he'd start with a production number, which isn't the worst thing (unless Snow White and Rob Lowe are involved). In fact, it's the best thing! He doesn't have the edge of a Chris Rock or a Jon Stewart, but isn't what we need right now someone who will just deliver some funny quips and a good old-fashioned show with a capital S? And you know he'd rehearse and rehearse and rehearse. Isn't that what Brett Ratner said all along?


This is the best idea I've had in a long time. Yes, Oprah was on TV, but she's been in movies. Heck, she's been nominated before! She knows every damn star in the audience and every person in Hollywood would appear if she asked them to. She is Oprah. Hello! She will make this the best Oscars ever because even the awards show itself, if it were sentient, would be afraid of pissing off Oprah. We haven't seen her in awhile so everyone will tune in and it's not like she's doing anything running that damn network (into the ground). Get Oprah for everything! Oprah for President! Occupy Oprah! Never let it stop!

Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock

If the Academy wants to go the giant movie star route, then I have a Proposal. Yes, that joke was awful. Call Bruce Vilanch, why don't you? Sure last year's experiment with Anna Hathawillbutnoway and James Franco was a huge disaster, because she couldn't stand him and he didn't take it seriously. These two, however, would be a vision. They have natural and undeniable chemistry, they're both funny and willing to let people laugh at them (since no one in that room wants to laugh at themselves). I would tune into this in a heartbeat. Please, I'd watch the show if it were hosted by a barfing dog and a cactus, but this would be preferable. Especially if there weren't enough money in the budget to buy Ryan a shirt.

Charlie Sheen

If you're someone like my sourpuss colleague Max Read, you think the Oscars are going to suck anyway, so why not make them suck in the most awesome way possible? I mean, he'll just show up, lip off, get booed, flame out, and no one will know what to do. The dancers will just stop in their tracks and the announcer won't know what to cut to. It will be Oscars Anarchy. The Kodak Theatre will burn. And it will be a majesty like no other.

Anderson Cooper

Why shouldn't the show take a newsier tack? The host is a thankless job anyway, why sully the reputation of an entertainer and just give it to a journalist like Andy? He would probably be a little stiff and wooden if he tried to do anything other than introduce people, but all we really need is a functionary to get us through the night. Anderson would do admirably, and would sure be fun to look at.

The Cast of Bridesmaids

Sure, they're not that famous, but a "Funny Lady" Oscars would be awesome. You'd get the always hilarious Kristen Wiig, awesome Maya Rudolph (who is married to a Hollywood heavyweight), the brassy Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Melissa McCarthy, who was the best SNL host I've seen in a long time. Oh, and you get Rose Byrne to do all the boring shit like introduce the In Memoriam and whatnot. If that doesn't float your boat, how about a Tina Fey Oscars? That would be great. Or just a bunch of other funny ladies. Let's give this show a little something different!

Past Host Retrospective

So far my suggestions have all been people who haven't hosted the show before. Why not trot out everyone who is still alive who has ever hosted the show and let them each do a jokes or two. Here is my very unscientific list of who that would include: Jerry Lewis, Carol Burnett, Michael Caine, Shirley Maclaine, Goldie Hawn, Warren Beatty, Ellen Burstyn, Jane Fonda, Liza Minnelli, Alan Alda, Robin Williams, Chevy Chase, Paul Hogan (right?!), Billy Crystal, Whoopi!, Steve Martin, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, Ellen DeGeneres, Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, and those two yahoos from last year. That is an amazing lineup. Take them all out of retirement! Except David Letterman. You will never do penance for the Uma, Oprah joke.

You guys have any bright ideas? Please, don't anyone even think to say Seacrest.

[Images via AP]