A Radical Proposition for the No-Host Academy Awards


On Wednesday, ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke issued the final decree on whether or not the Academy Awards will have a host, saying that the presenters will just do it themselves. While this is certainly the easiest solution, I’ve come up with another, more entertaining option, that I’d love to present to the Academy for consideration: Why not have the host wear an elaborate costume and reveal their identity at the end of the show, much like Fox’s smash hit, The Masked Singer?

Awards ceremonies are boring. There are beautiful gowns, but if you’re an awards-show fanatic, you’ve probably already seen the gowns during E!’s nine-hour-long coverage of the red carpet before the actual ceremony starts. Without an actual host to perform a tepid musical number peppered with winking references to Green Book, the show itself will be a four-hour stretch of famous people congratulating themselves for being famous with no recourse. The brief periods of time a host fills with banter and stunts involving sandwiches will be even more stilted if hosted by a voice-over. It’s time to kick things up a notch and introduce an element of mystery to the proceedings.

The host for this year’s Academy Awards should be a Famous whose star is dimming, in desperate need of a comeback or just a little heat from fame’s bright, searing light. Much like The Masked Singer, the goal will be to figure out who is behind the mask, though there will not be a singing portion of the event. Instead of celebrity judges Robin Thicke, Ken Jeong, and Jenny McCarthy, the celebrities presenting the awards will also be tasked with offering their best guesses about who is behind the mask. There will be clues, of course, but the masked actor will be forced to provide said clues themselves—who has time for a flashy package put together by production, it’s the freaking Academy Awards, and so they must monologue for their supper. The masked actor in question will be tasked with delivering a line or five from each movie nominated for Best Picture. This will effectively serve as an audition for the actor in question and will also aid the presenters in figuring out who is behind the mask. It’s unfortunate that they will have a second job in addition to their first, which is not fucking up the presenting of the awards, but them’s the breaks.

The masked actor will be revealed in the moments before Best Picture is announced, and ideally, the suspense mounting over who the masked actor is will keep people watching what is otherwise a relatively tiresome ceremony that runs on for way too long. Bohemian Rhapsody wins, and America discovers that Susan Sarandon was dressed as an armadillo, reciting lines from The Favourite this whole time.

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