Thursday, 11 December 2008

Hollywood Babble On & On #203: A Host to Boast About?

The start of Awards season has just got me burning up the keyboard. 3 posts in one day, a new record!

AMPAS, the people behind the Academy Awards, haven't announced the exact identity of the next host of the Academy Awards, but they have been dropping some clues like rabbit pellets.

They are:

1. The new host is in the movie business.

2. The new host is not a TV personality or stand-up comedian.

3. The new host will most likely not be telling jokes.

#3 is not a real clue, the last three hosts didn't tell any jokes either.


Actually Oscar has been rather lackluster lately, and not just because it's been honouring more and more movies seen by fewer and fewer people, it's because of the hosts.

The Academy thinks the problem is their use of comedians and TV personalities, which I think is wrong. Bob Hope, Billy Crystal, and Johnny Carson were considered excellent hosts, and their backgrounds were as stand-up comedians, and in Carson's case, he worked almost exclusively in TV.

The problem with the hosts lately, and it's been going on for a while, is not the hosts' day jobs, it's connection.

The audience just aren't connecting with the hosts.

Hope, Crystal, and Carson made themselves memorable by placing themselves as outsiders among the beautiful people. Sure, they were as inside as you can get without having a studio named after you, but that's not how they played it. They acted as if they had been beamed out of the real world, and into a glittering fantasy world of glamour and fame.

In essence, they played for the audience watching at home.

The bulk of the last crop of hosts play to the audience inside the Kodak Theatre.

There's a difference.

Hollywood is an extremely insular place whose connection to the outside world, otherwise known as reality, gets weaker every day. Everyone they meet is either at their feet, or at their throat, and with so much money floating around, performers can have major league careers even if they're unable to sell tickets to a lifeboat on the Titanic. They assume that what appeals to them, is the same that appeals to the general public. It doesn't.

In the old days, the Golden Globes were the place where they could drop the inside wisecracks and other shtick. The Oscars were supposed to be about the wider audience, and appealing to them.

But Hollywood doesn't know the wider audience anymore, and the wider audience doesn't know, or want to know most of them, and what appeals to millionaires with mansions in Beverly Hills, and "beach houses" in Malibu, doesn't necessarily connect to them.

It's just that simple.

No comments:

Post a Comment