Aside from a handful of bizarre fashion choices at this year’s Oscars, the format was a bit wonky. This second year with no host proves that the awards show just isn’t that interesting without a comedian to guide us through it. The Oscars haven’t had a host since Kevin Hart was jettisoned over some jokes leading up to the 2019 Academy Awards.
The biggest problem with not having a host is that all these people on the red carpet know each other. They tend to go to the same parties, and they have all the same references. What a host can do is let the audience in, give the audience an ally, a friend, someone to joke around with while the celebs do their thing.
The Oscars could have benefitted from the sort of jabbing on display at this year’s Golden Globes, hosted by Ricky Gervais, who gave viewers quite a laugh at Hollywood’s expense, joking about Harvey Weinstein, Felicity Huffman, and Jeffrey Epstein.
“Let’s go out with a bang, let’s have a laugh at your expense. Remember, they’re just jokes. We’re all gonna die soon and there’s no sequel, so remember that,” Gervais said at the Globes. “So if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.”
Without a host, the Oscars is like watching a bunch of people you don’t know talk about things you don’t know about. In short, the hostless Oscars have the feel of a party where you don’t want to be. That’s not really what Hollywood is looking for.
In the absence of a comedian’s sensibilities, the whole thing takes itself way too seriously. There’s no one there to poke fun at the famous people. But at least they keep us alienated with wealthy, famous stars who have overestimated ideas of their own importance and relevance outside the entertainment industry.