Lack of Hosts Proves Smooth but Boring

Do you remember when Anne Hathaway and James Franco hosted the Oscars? The pair barely made it through an overly rehearsed comedy scene, and afterwards, it was one of the main things people talked about because it was so awkward. This year, the Oscars did not have someone to host the show and the Emmys followed suit. Why would they do this? Has another human’s job been lost to technology?

According to ABC News, the 2018 Oscars had the lowest rating it has had in years. Then the 2018 Emmys came around and the same thing happened, only worse. In 2019, the Oscars planned to have Kevin Hart host the show, but that blew up in their faces when just days before the event, Hart’s homophobic tweets resurfaced. The Oscars knew they had to fire Hart; organizations can no longer condone this kind of behavior and get away with it. It was too late to hire someone else, but the show must go on. So the 91st Oscars were hostless. Consequently, the Oscars ratings shot up. ABC couldn’t have been more happily confused.

We can’t directly attribute the 2019 Oscars success to its lack of a host. However, FOX seems to think that not having a host was a very helpful factor in raising ratings.

The official reason the Emmys didn’t have a host this year is that FOX wanted more time to honor the shows. When you don’t have a host you get more time to focus on the shows and this was something FOX wanted. They also may have been looking at how well the Os

Taking away the host is like pulling back the curtain and revealing how award shows are really just corporate events.

cars did without a host, and they were right to pay attention to it, as the Emmys’ ratings went up just like the Oscars’ had.

So the question is, should all awards shows stop spending money on a celebrity host? There are a lot of benefits; the show is much more likely to end on time, it is much cheaper for the network putting on the show, and not having a host can help avoid a lot of drama and criticism. There have been many years when people didn’t enjoy the host and instead of talking about which shows won awards, people were talking about how annoying the host was. If you don’t have a host, there’s no risk of this, and it can be more interesting to have many different people each doing a small part. As comedian Sam Taggart said to Vulture, “I think it’s more fun … it’s like ‘yes, let’s have everyone be able to talk a little bit!’”

And yet award show hosts are something we love, something familiar. If there isn’t a host, then a voice from the speakers or a video of Homer Simpson takes a human’s place. That’s us tossing another job to technology. We want to hear a host’s meh jokes and laugh while they wait. It’s a part of the experience. And really, why take away the host? Does it matter that much if it ends on time or not? We’re all just watching for the fun and the hope that our favorite show will win.

Taking away the host is like pulling back the curtain and revealing how award shows are really just corporate events. They are ways for actors to get hired, movies and TV shows to get watched and, all in all, everyone makes more money, especially if the network isn’t paying a host. The host is there to cover that all up and keep it fun. We still need to have that in our awards shows.

We provide the opportunity to comment in order to foster a healthy debating environment and reserve the right to reject comments that stray away from that objective. Read our full policy →