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Hollywood's worst job

Hollywood has officially kicked off its award show season.  Yes, just like Canadians have brief seasons when fruits don’t taste like cardboard, the entertainment industry has a brief socially-acceptable period of self-appreciation.

In fact, between last week’s Golden Globes and the Oscars in March, there are thirteen opportunities for celebrities to starve themselves and dress up in borrowed designer fashions.  The awards shows include Critics Choice, NAACP Image, Producers Guild, Directors Guild, Writers Guild, Screen Actors Guild, and Independent Spirit just to name a few.

And the greatest discussion leading up to each event focuses on who is hosting said celebration of excess.  I mean, success.

Big names are always on the marquee that night.  But I can’t understand how.

When you host an awards show, it basically announces to the world that you weren’t even nominated for anything.  And awards shows are frankly, rather boring for the viewer unless someone streaks across the stage in their altogether or causes some kind of uproar during their speech.  But that means you have to stay awake between those brief moments of excitement.

That also means it’s up to the host to keep viewers interested, often literally breaking out in song and dance to keep the momentum going.  And critics are rarely kind in grading their efforts.

Seth Meyers hosted The Golden Globes, the biggest “party” in which liquor flows freely and stars are often half in the bag.  But this year’s event was also the first award show after the sexual misconduct scandals.  So I thought he walked the razor’s edge rather well.  Critics did not agree.

They rarely do.  Jokes are considered pandering to the elite in the room.  Trying to make a social statement comes across as preachy or self-serving.  And production numbers are ridiculed.

The biggest of them all, the Oscars, seems to have scarred its hosts the most.  Seth MacFarlane was hired for his edgy humour which all-but-disappeared in front of the live audience.  A disastrous Anne Hathaway and James Franco combination were the Academy’s answer to the youth movement.

Post 9-11, Ellen DeGeneres was hired to bring her feel-good TV show to the night.  Chris Rock was meant to prove that Hollywood wasn’t “too white.”  Hugh Jackman presented “Oscars: The Musical” while Jon Stewart made a politically-correct, self-deprecating Hollywood his punchline.

And their efforts were met with mixed reviews.  So emceeing doesn’t add much cache to one’s Hollywood street cred.

Maybe it’s the money.  The paycheque varies from show to show.  However, according to reports, it starts out mid-four and tops out in the mid-five figures.

So why in the name of Kardashian would someone host an awards show?  Is it the adage that any publicity is good publicity?

Last year, the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted Oscars made history by giving the Best Picture Award to the wrong movie.  Consequently, nobody even thought to critique its host.   Maybe that’s why Jimmy’s returning this March. 

Wonder what he’ll do to avoid a report card again this year.