By Arturo R. García
It was almost enough to make you say, F-ck The Muppets.
No sooner did Eddie Murphy give up his shot at hosting the Academy Awards in a heart-warming display of solidarity with Bro – I mean, Brett – Ratner than an online campaign recommending Kermit The Frog and friends get the job pick up some steam.
The Muppets hosting The Oscars? The most interesting part of that pairing would be figuring out which half should feel more insulted.
But at least Muppets fans are coming at this from a place of honest – if at times overbearing (wokka wokka!) – enthusiasm. It’s been more disappointing to scan around other sites and see the same basic wishlist of prospective replacements:
- Stephen Colbert/Tina Fey
- Neil Patrick Harris
- Somebody associated with Glee
- Nobody at all
- Not to be outdone, the Huffington Post also nominated a muppet, albeit one with his own talk show.
- And one black person
With such a lack of creativity from normally creative people (Tracy Morgan? Oprah? Chris Rock?) you’d think Ratner was still doing the show! O-HOHOHOHO!
But seriously, folks. We here at The R can do better than that – especially since Rick Perry’s botched his audition last night. And our nominees are …
Samuel L. Jackson & Denzel Washington
Pros: The POC Pacino and DeNiro. Who in the hell would pick Tracy Morgan over a) the world’s highest-grossing actor and b) Denzel F’ing Washington? They can do classy, they can do funny – really, so can anybody on our list – and both have the critical and popular chops to command respect in this kind of setting.
Cons: No, really, go ahead and find one.
Will & Jada Pinkett Smith
Pros: If we’re looking for a husband-wife duo to anchor the proceedings, how about a guy who’s not far behind SLJ in the bankability chart and a star in her own right? If nothing else, you’d think they would have better chemistry than Hathaway and Franco, right?
Cons: Who would be more awkward for the Smiths to bring out – their kids or their basketball team?
Pros: To the hipster demographic, he’s America’s Other Funny Gay Guy. But more importantly, he’s gone from part of an old sci-fi show to become one of Hollywood’s more strident advocates, and with his years of service to the business, it’s hard to imagine many people who would cherish this job more.
Cons: “Too” tied in to the bygone days of the Star Trek franchise.
Danny Pudi & Donald Glover
Pros: The saving graces of a TV show that’s a critical darling – and one that simultaneously lampoons and sends love letters to cinema almost every week. Bring the Community writing team aboard with them and the comedic potential is tantalizing.
Cons: They’re two supporting players on a low-rated TV show, and neither has a hit film to his credit. And for heaven’s sakes, don’t let Glover rap.
John Cho & Kal Penn
Pros: They’re like Glover and Pudi, but with big-screen bonafides. Philip at You Offend Me, You Offend My Family says they’d make great co-hosts for Saturday Night Live, but why limit our ambition? (Another bong-dream: Cho/Penn + Glover/Pudi + NPH = a comedy Voltron to carry the next 2-3 years’ worth of shows.)
Cons: Made their name playing arch-stoners. This would be like Cheech & Chong awarding The Deer Hunter the Best Picture award in ’79.
Pros: What better way to confirm Elba’s arrival as a power player for Hollywood’s future?
Cons: Most notable roles up to this point have been a comic-book character and a drug dealer. Stuffy ol’ Oscar would rather deal with talk-show hosts.
Pros: Academy Award nominee, Golden Globe winner, class for decades.
Cons: Hasn’t had a hit in years. But hey, that didn’t stop Ratner and Murphy, did it?
Edward James Olmos
Pros: Emmy and Golden Globe winner, and the first U.S.-born Latino Oscar nominee for his work in Stand & Deliver. And hey, how frakking cool would it be to see him get the whole arena to yell, “SO SAY WE ALL!”?
Cons: Like Takei, his sci-fi ties would work against him.
Pros: If geek is indeed chic in Hollywood now, there’s not many other people you could hire to validate that fact. And hey, isn’t karma a funny thing, Mr. Ratner?
Cons: She’s still better-known for her work at G4’s Attack Of The Show than anything she’s done on the big screen. And unfortunately, karma might be funnier than Munn, too.