According to a story in The New York Times (who, surprisingly enough, have appeared to scoop the scoopers, and their scoopers), The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce today that Jon Stewart will be invited back to host the Oscars this year. The event, which is scheduled to air on ABC this coming February 24, will mark Stewart's second time hosting; he last took the
reigns reins back in 2006. Although this is The New York Times, I do have to throw out the requisite "rumor" warning since they claim their sources are "two people involved with the plan who spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to talk to the news media." And I imagine those two people would suffer a major beatdown if someone were to find out who they were. It was you Colbert! Wasn't it! Damn you! Damn you I say!
So now we have to raise the obvious question: Should Stewart be back? Last time out the man was fairly well received, but not according to the numbers. Last year, Ellen DeGeneres helped score the show 39.9 million viewers, whereas Stewart took in only 38.9 million. Compared to Chris Rock's 42.1 million in 2005 and Billy Crystal's whopping 55 million in 1998 (when Titanic was pretty much guaranteed to win everything -- and it did!), Stewart doesn't seem like the obvious choice ... on paper. But he's a likable enough guy, his jokes and mannerisms are usually pretty funny, and he's tame. He'll most likely be asked, once again, to hold back on all the political humor -- everything will be fine and dandy -- and we'll live-blog the whole thing. Sweet. Now all Hollywood needs is a big fall, because nothing looks appetizing from a viewer's standpoint thus far. And Stewart had Brokeback Mountain (as well as all the jokes that went along with it) back in 2006; will anything even come close this year. I doubt it. What do you think?