Here’s Why Hannah Gadsby Is The Perfect Choice To Host The Oscars
Make it happen, Academy.
Hannah Gadsby has had one helluva year. Her “farewell to stand-up” comedy special Nanette enjoyed glowing reviews here in Australia, before severely crushing it on Netflix internationally; she slayed a brief presenting stint at the Emmys; and she recently sat down for an amazing chat with Roxanne Gay.
But, if some good old fashioned internet gossip is to believed, Gadsby’s 2019 has the potential to be even bigger — the Aussie comic is rumoured to be one of the choices for hosting next year’s Oscars.
— Dolba (@dolba) December 10, 2018
We stress: rumoured. For a start, hers is only one name on a long list – other potential hosts touted by Variety include cult rapper and actor Awkwafina, hardened awards hosting veteran Neil Patrick Harris, and Girls Trip breakout star Tiffany Haddish.
But rumours though they might only be, Gadsby is a perfect choice for the Oscars host. And here’s why.
Hannah Gadsby’s A Newcomer
When it comes to picking a host, the Academy loves old hands – they came back to Billy Crystal year after year after year (maybe they just couldn’t get enough of his Gollum bit?) But here’s the thing: audiences don’t. If there’s one thing the Oscar ceremony desperately needs, it’s a bit of fresh blood; even Jimmy Kimmel’s two consecutive years as host started to feel a little bit tired and stuck before long.
I want Hannah Gadsby to host the Oscars. pic.twitter.com/kv8tOSaYVN
— Raychelle Burks (@DrRubidium) December 8, 2018
The Oscars are overlong, rooted in artifice and weird old rituals, and deeply resistant to new ideas (it’s 2018, and the Academy is still deciding what games streaming services have to play to even be considered for awards).
Gadsby has the potential to chuck that all out the window, and provide some genuine change.
She’s Already Crushed An Awards Show Gig
The Emmys this year were astonishingly dull: the top gongs went to the most obvious choices imaginable (“Oh wow: Game Of Thrones and Saturday Night Live won awards!”); the show was overlong and uninspired; and TV’s real gamechangers were locked out before the ceremony even started (no nomination for Kyle MacLachlan’s extraordinary work on Twin Peaks: The Return?)
But amidst all that rough lay a diamond: Hannah Gadsby. In a mere 98 seconds, the comedian struck the pomp and circumstance of awards show nonsense in twain. And more than that: she was funny. Not awards show funny. You know, genuinely funny.
— 𝐻𝑒𝓇𝑀𝓊𝓈𝒾𝓃𝑔𝓈 💬 (@flutterpolitely) September 18, 2018
The Academy should take note.
The Oscars Desperately Need To Stay Relevant; Gadsby Can Help
In recent years, the Academy seems to have finally realised that they have to heave up their ancient arses from the couch and at least make an attempt to keep with the times. Since the #Oscarssowhite controversy, they have (finally) begun honouring work made by outsiders, about outsiders, and for outsiders.
That a film in which a young mute woman makes love to an impressively horny, cat-eating fish man took out the Best Picture Oscar this year is still impressively contemporary; that the film that won the year before it was a loving ode to being queer and of colour even more so.
Seven minutes into SHAPE OF WATER and here’s what I know so far: The main character is mute, she digs Shirley Temple, and keeps an egg timer on the sink so that she doesn’t forget to stop masturbating. Oscar voters, you crazy.
— Mark Graham (@unclegrambo) September 23, 2018
But that forward-thinking is yet to seep into the selection of hosts. For years now, it’s been a string of high-profile men, most of them talk show hosts.
Why not shake things up a bit? Gadsby represents a chance for the Academy to prove that it can think outside the box. Not only is she stridently contemporary in her material, she’s also best known for a comedy special that premiered on a streaming service. By hiring Gadsby, the Academy can refute the claims that they’re biased against streaming services, and choose an edgy, politically engaged host all in one go.
I mean, they probably won’t (what’s the bet they go with Patrick Harris, or a loudmouth enjoying a brief moment in the sun like Alec Baldwin?) But when they inevitably make the wrong choice, their 2019 Oscars drop even further down in the ratings, and they suddenly realise the time is ripe for change, it’s Gadsby’s door they should be knocking on come 2020.