Blast from the past

5 Oscar Ceremonies That Were Just Fine Without Hosts


Yes, that’s right. I know that the Academy is in hot pursuit for an Oscar host after Kevin Hart dropped out last week, due to homophobic Tweets that he posted in the past.

And ever since his quitting, every single player in Hollywood and every single medium in the United States, has had their pick to replace him. Ryan Reynolds, The Rock, Kumail Nanjiani, Ellen Degeneres, Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen… The list goes on and on.

But did you know that the Oscars ceremonies went just fine without one? Host I mean. Yes, in the 90th history of the Oscars, there have been 5 ceremonies without a host.

Starting with the 11th annual Oscar ceremony in 1939, and all the way to the 61st in 1989. There are 5 Oscar ceremonies total that didn’t had a host to guide the show, and surprisingly those were some of the best in history. Particularly memorable were the 3 consecutive ceremonies from 1969 until 1971 that were left without a host and Oliver!, Midnight Cowboy and Patton were crowned as the best picture winners in those 3 years.

Yup. At the 1969 Oscars, the show’s producer, Gower Champion invited 10 Hollywood stalwarts — dubbed “The Friends of Oscar,” including Ingrid Bergman, Sidney Poitier, Jane Fonda and Burt Lancaster — to pitch in and to replace Bob „The Bore“ Hope, so they did just that. They weren’t named hosts, but a backup support for what that was more than a monologue and an occasional pop up of a stiff-y guy in a suit. Back then people knew that the Oscars were about the movies, and the actors, and the directors. Not some guy who will bore you to death. The next year (1970) the Academy had even more Friends of the Oscars (16 in total), and in 1971 there was 33. Oh yes… 33 friends of the Oscars.

And that idea died when everything went to hell at the 1989 Oscars. Without a host, and with a lot of freedom for the stars to do what the hell the wanted, well… they did just that. Snow White, Cinderella, I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Cocoanuts, and Proud Mary. Mess in Hollywood, but still fun.

So, as much as I love a good host to entertain and to make fun of the Hollywood stars, the Academy Awards can do just fine without them.


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