Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin to Host Oscars
11.04.09 by REELZ
Hugh Jackman, just a few days ago, refused a repeat performance as Oscar host. Yesterday, Cinema Blend reported that Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. had also been offered the job, but turned it down.
The report closed on a positive note, citing that at least the choice indicated a push towards a younger, hipper direction. In retrospect, this statement is as funny as it is wrong. Why? Because the Academy announced a short time later that its choices for next year's hosts are ... Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.
Scratch your head. Raise a furrowed brow. Begin discussions of all the odd-couple pairings in TV and movie history. Producer Bill Mechanic had this to say about the selections, made with co-producer Adam Shankman:
Adam and I, from our first meeting on, knew we wanted an emphasis on comedy. If we err in any one direction, we want to take a show that can feel long and boring at times and make it feel shorter and more fun. The idea of two co-hosts who could move things along just seemed like a great idea.
In its write-up of the story, The Hollywood Reporter cited some nifty Oscar trivia, pointing out that this would not be the first time the telecast featured multiple hosts. The very first Oscar ceremony in 1929 was hosted by Douglas Fairbanks and William C. de Mille. Jerry Lewis and Celeste Holm shared duties in 1957, although they were in different locations (Lewis in Los Angeles, Holm in New York).
In 1972, the Academy chose the trio of Sammy Davis Jr., Helen Hayes, and Alan King, and again went for a trifecta in 1987 with Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn, and Paul Hogan.
In response to Tuesday's decision, Martin quipped, "I am happy to co-host the Oscars with my enemy Alec Baldwin." Baldwin followed by saying, "I don't play the banjo, but I'm thrilled to be hosting the Oscars."