It was announced last week that the excellent Neil Patrick Harris will be hosting this coming February’s Oscar ceremony, but it turns out that NPH wasn’t the Academy’s first choice. THR reports that producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron—who have produced the last two ceremonies in a row—first “begged” Ellen Degeneres to return as Oscar for this year’s ceremony. She firmly declined the offer, and then they next approached Chris Rock, who hosted in 2005. He turned down the offer as well, and so Zadan and Meron then went to Julia Louis-Dreyfus who, shocker, said “no”. They then finally landed on Harris, who graciously agreed to take on the gig. More after the jump.
Hosting the Oscars is essentially a no-win scenario. You have to be able to balance the humor and entertainment with the fact that everyone in the room is incredibly nervous and just wants you to get on with it. It’s an impossible tight rope act that few have been able to effectively pull off. Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and Hugh Jackman have come the closest in recent years, and I did enjoy some of the back-and-forth between Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin when they co-hosted in 2010. James Franco and Anne Hathaway will undoubtedly go down as one of the telecasts in history, and Seth Macfarlane was way too showy in his duties.
I think Neil Patrick Harris has the possibility to really nail the gig, though, as evidenced by his previous hosting of the Tonys and Emmys. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is one of the funniest people on the planet so I would’ve been all for that idea, but in the end I think NPH was probably the best of the four possibilities that have been reported. Here’s hoping he sticks the landing come February 22, 2015, and fingers crossed for a Gone Girl number.