Instead of the usual TV-show questions I'm sure you get often, how about an awards-show question? We recently had Dennis Miller
host the Critics Choice Awards and Craig Ferguson
host the People's Choice Awards. Personally, I thought they both sucked [because they] never really [got] into their normal rhythms. With Jon Stewart
hosting the Oscars this year, I'm not too optimistic, after his hosting of the Grammys a few years back. I wonder if the Golden Globes have it right (one of the few) by not having a host. Sure, the Oscars have the prestige and pomp of being "the best of the best," but I can only think of the Tonys and maybe Emmys with having the hosts best suited for their awards and crowd in the past few years. I know Jon Stewart hasn't hosted the show yet, but how do you think he'll do, and what if the Oscars got rid of a host altogether?Answer:
I'm hoping Jon Stewart succeeds. He's a smart guy, very funny and currently at the top of his game. Which is reason enough to give him a shot, even if he wasn't the first choice (that would have been Billy Crystal
). The Oscars are an institution with a long sense of tradition, which includes the idea of putting on a grand show, including clip packages (usually great), a host (a mixed bag) and (often regrettably) musical numbers. The Oscar show is a bit of a dinosaur, to be sure, but there's something comforting about its excesses, including its length and the perils that come from hosting it (just ask David Letterman
). I do enjoy the briskness of the Golden Globes, but for the Oscars to do away with a host is to risk denying the show part of its sense of occasion, and its personality. However, if Jon Stewart flops and the ratings keep going south, then maybe the Oscar folks will rethink it. But for now, the Oscar show continues to be something we love to hate, and the host will remain one of its necessary evils.
On a similar awards theme, this from Louise H.: "Can you explain why the Golden Globes air on tape delay on the West Coast? For me, it is one of the most enjoyable and entertaining award shows to watch. (Maybe because there's alcohol available at the event.) Isn't it second in importance of awards shows? With the Golden Globes on tape delay, 10 pm newscasts or websites can announce winners before the show is done on the West Coast. I think tape delay takes out the fun and excitement for those watching on the West Coast. I'd love to hear your take on it."
I'm not sure, but it seems to me this is a financial decision, and NBC can make more money off the show if it can sell it in prime time in all areas. (How hard is it, anyway, to keep the blinders on for the three hours it takes to watch?) The Golden Globes is comfort food that's meant to be watched at night, not in the late afternoon. And while it has gained prominence in recent years, it's still far from a mega-event like the Oscars.
[Editor's Note: If you missed Monday's column, you'll find it here.]