Mark Evanier, one of TVWriter™s favorite creative forces, is the possessor of a talent this particular TVWriter™ minion wishes with all her heart she had: The ability to see through Hollywood B.S. and say so.
The most recent case in point:
by Mark Evanier
Okay…so Kevin Hart is out as Oscar Host because he might offend people and Ricky Gervais is trying to place himself in the running. But of course, the whole point of picking Ricky Gervais would be to get more people to tune in because he would be offending people. I don’t think so and it all begs the question of just what the job requirements today are to host the Academy Awards. I’m not sure anyone is clear on this. I’m not sure there really are any.
Some of those involved in the selection probably aren’t interested in anything else besides “Who’d get the most people to tune in?” America’s interest in award shows has fizzled a lot in recent years, perhaps because there are way too friggin’ many of them. But maybe it’s also because your top movie stars are paid so, so much money (and it’s not a secret) that a lot of people really view the show as a lot of undeserving, easy-to-resent, overpaid people celebrating the awesomeness of each other. Which, of course, it is.
To some extent, the Oscars these days are like watching Jeff Bezos play Deal or No Deal. Even winning the top prize isn’t going to change his life one bit. We don’t have a lot of rooting interest these days for actors, even for our favorites. If your career has been such that you’re up for an Oscar, you’re probably to the point where you’re so rich and famous that it won’t make a bit of difference. I mean, you might get $20 million for your next film instead of $15 million but why should anyone who can’t afford health insurance care?
So maybe what the Oscars need is a host who can puncture all the pomposity and bring it back down closer to the real world. In that sense, maybe Ricky Gervais wouldn’t be a bad choice, just as Kevin Hart wasn’t a bad choice. But then the show won’t so much be about Who will win? but about about Who will Ricky insult? Hell, if all we want is controversy and puncturing, forget about Ricky and bring in Gilbert Gottfried.