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Who Should Host the Oscars? Awkwafina, Selena Gomez, Steve Martin

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It’s do-or-die time for the Oscars to recapture the glory days of the ceremony when more than 50 million people were watching emcees like Billy Crystal, Chris Rock and the foursome of 1983 that included Walter Matthau, Liza Minnelli, Dudley Moore and Richard Pryor. With Will Packer producing the telecast for the first time, he’s said to have an exciting vision that can only be executed with a fresh, new host. So, who should the Academy tap?

WHO?: Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short

WHY?: Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building” stars bridge all generations that the Academy needs to elevate its brand. You get the Gen Y and Z crowds and Latinos feeling seen with Gomez, and the OG die-hard fans of the Academy will have a past beloved host like Martin, who’s emceed three times. Short would be getting his first swing at the Oscar ball.

WHO?: Awkwafina and Tiffany Haddish

WHY?: The two actresses and comedians are incredibly talented. Awkwafina brought the laughs in “Crazy Rich Asians” while Haddish has worked with Packer previously on “Girls Trip,” winning the supporting actress award from the New York Film Critics Circle. With the right material, they could blow the doors off the Dolby Theatre with their boisterous energy and pizzazz.

WHO?: Thomas Middleditch and Ben Schwartz

WHY?: The dynamic duo, best known for their utterly improvised act that streamed on Netflix, have the chemistry and talent to push the envelope for the Academy, but not so much that it makes people feel uncomfortable. Prepared material will be key, but the two can also handle off-the-cuff moments, which might lead to such viewer-friendly stunts as Ellen DeGeneres taking a selfie in the audience.

WHO?: The Lonely Island & Tim Robinson

WHY?: Let’s be clear. The Academy should tap the rap parody trio (Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer) behind “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” and the star of the hilarious “I Think You Should Leave” on Netflix only if it allows them to bring their quintessential comedy routines, which aren’t always family friendly. On the other hand, if the Oscars heed the advice and decide to simulcast on Disney Plus or Hulu, they could see a massive bump across all demographics, with some raunchier moments brought to the ceremony.

2022 Academy Awards Predictions