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Oscars 2019: Who will replace Kevin Hart as host? Eddie Murphy, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, and other contenders

It's been reported that Academy organisers are struggling to find a good fit for the job 

Clarisse Loughrey
Sunday 09 December 2018 10:40
Oscars 2019: Kevin Hart quits as host after homophobia row

Kevin Hart has stepped down as Oscars host just two days after he was named in the role, amid anger over a series of homophobic tweets.

The actor and comedian said he had refused to apologise for the tweets, which were posted from 2009-2011 and have mostly been deleted, when asked to do so by award organisers.

The Academy will now have to make quick work of finding a replacement, which may be a challenge since The Hollywood Reporter previously suggested that The Academy was struggling to find a suitable candidate, amid concerns over last year's ceremony dipping to its lowest ratings ever, marking a 19% drop from 2017.

If organisers can resist phoning up Jimmy Kimmel again (he hosted both the 2017 and 2018 ceremonies), here are some suggestions as to who could fill those intimidating shoes.

Eddie Murphy

Reports have suggested that the Eddie Murphy is currently the Academy's favourite to replace Hart. However, Murphy was previously meant to host the awards show in 2012, before dropping out over their treatment of Brett Ratner, who at the time was under fire for making a homophobic tweet. Whether the comedian will actually take the offer is another question altogether.

Maya Rudolph

The former Saturday Night Live star's appearance at last year's ceremony proved to be one of its highlights, as she teamed up with Tiffany Haddish to announce the awards for Best Documentary and Best Live-Action Short. What Rudolph brings to the table is variety. In short, she can (basically) do it all: cutting asides, goofiness, song-and-dance numbers, and Old Hollywood charm.

Key & Peele

The sketch duo – Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele – have already racked up their fair share of high profile gigs, with Key having famously helped out Barack Obama at the White House Correspondent's Dinner. Add to that, they've also certainly earned their Hollywood cred, after Peele directed last year's Oscar-winning horror Get Out. They've got the right combination of easy chemistry and cinephile knowledge to ensure the evening goes smoothly.

Ali Wong

The comedian may not have as much hosting experience as some of the other entries on this list, but thanks to her Netflix specials, Baby Cobra and Hard Knock Wife, Wong is quickly becoming a major name in the industry. Plus, she's a razor-sharp talent that would add a much-needed edge to the ceremony and would ensure the three-hour telecast doesn't lose an ounce of energy.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Of course, The Academy doesn't have to restrict its search parameters to the world of comedians and late-night hosts, since there's a history of Broadway talent taking on the job – both Neil Patrick Harris and Hugh Jackman have brought their enthusiasm to the stage in the past. The most obvious candidate in that realm is now Lin-Manuel Miranda: an international sensation oozing charm and geniality who also happens to star in one of this year's contenders, Mary Poppins Returns. And, yes, he'll probably do a rap about this year's movies.

John Mulaney

Considering the personal crisis (of sorts) the Academy Awards is currently going through, culminating in the wildly misguided, and soon retracted decision, earlier this year to introduce a Best Popular Film category, maybe the Oscars need to get humble. And no individual is better to keep things self-effacing than John Mulaney, who would probably use the opportunity to complain about how insecure Timothée Chalamet has made him feel as a man.

Hasan Minhaj

Another route here would be to hire someone who could successfully eviscerate the Academy (and Hollywood at large) in a way that feels smart and genuinely hilarious. The Golden Globes attempted to do the same with Ricky Gervais in the past, but he largely fell back on pointing out how rich everyone in the room was. Taking into account Minhaj's incredible White House Correspondents Dinner speech, the comedian could definitely make a few people squirm in their seats.

Tina Fey & Amy Poehler

If past performance should be any judge of the best individual (or individuals) for the job, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler should be at the top of everyone's lists. They've already hosted the Golden Globes three times, always receiving a rave reception when doing so, and so it feels natural that the duo should graduate to the top level this year, bringing back their winning combination of outrageous (but not too outrageous) jokes, wit, and good cheer.

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