Wednesday, January 10, 2018

the attack of the late-night hosts

Since it hasn't been addressed by anyone in the entertainment media to date, I suppose that I'll be the messenger and announce the bad news - namely, the latest annoying trend of the in-progress awards season.

It appears that the major awards shows have been co-opted by the networks that air them and are now obliged to use in-house talent as hosts.  Jimmy Fallon, who oversees NBC's "The Tonight Show," hosted NBC's Golden Globes telecast in 2017 and, this year, NBC enlisted Seth Meyers, star of NBC's "Late Night with Seth Meyers," to do the job.

Did I remember to mention NBC?

Meanwhile, over at ABC, seemingly the permanent home of the annual Oscarcast, Jimmy Kimmel - star of ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" - hosted the ABC telecast last year and will do the honors again this year for ABC.

That's ABC, like the alphabet.

Not to be outdone, CBS, with The Grammys on its schedule, has invited James Corden, the star of CBS's "The Late Late Show with James Corden," for a repeat performance. Corden hosted the CBS telecast last year.

CBS, got that?

It seems that a dubious precedent has been set and that this is now a permanent arrangement between the awards shows and the networks. The problem is, these late-night hosts can been seen on television every night.

There's nothing special about them. Nothing.

Who can we expect to host future awards show, specifically those devoted to TV and film? An evening news anchor? David Muir? Is Michael Strahan next? George Stephanopoulos perhaps? At least the umpteen country music awards shows are always hosted by country music talent. Same with The Tonys (but, then, no one seems to care about the poor Tonys).

Gone are the days of an actual, bona-fide movie star hosting the Oscars - Steve Martin, Jack Lemmon, Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal, Frank Sinatra, Chris Rock, David Niven. David who? And of course, the pro, Bob Hope.

Heck, as disappointing as Seth McFarlane and Ann Hathaway & James Franco were on the Oscarcasts, at least they represented risky, original thinking. Seth Meyers? He was barely competent, boring actually. Yawn.

Someone at NBC must really, really love him.
As for the Golden Globes, frankly, I enjoyed the show more during the Ken Shapiro era when there was no host, just an unseen announcer. It was lean and clean. There was really no point to bringing on Ricky Gervais to host, other than to mimic the Oscars. (It should be the other way around: The hopeless Oscarcast should be actively working to be more like the lively Golden Globes.) But, admittedly, Gervais was huge fun, as always - and so were Tina Fey and Amy Poehler who followed him.

And so, I anticipate, with some dread, exactly what network golden boy will be foisted on us and the next unsuspecting awards show.

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(from top)

~Bob Hope and Oscar
~photography: The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences 1971©

~Amy Poehler and Tina Fey with a couple of Golden Globes
~photography: The Hollywood Foreign Press 2015©


SusieQ said...

Thanks, Joe. Needed to be said. As far as future network hosts from in-house, I just hope it isn't David Muir, the alter boy who reads the evening news for ABC.

Brian Lucas said...

If I recall, James Stewart even hosted the Oscars.

Kevin Barry said...

I remember when The Golden Globes were part of the Andy Williams show and nobody took them seriously. The current flood of end-of-the-year prizes, best lists, and critic's awards is ridiculous. By the time the Oscars roll around (and they have become ridiculous, as well) we have heard the same speeches from the same winners over and over and over. There aren't stars anymore, anyway, just celebrities.

joe baltake said...

Brian- Yes, Stewart hosted the Oscars, twice I believe.

Kevin- Very well put. Yes, there are no more movie stars, just celebrities. Sad.


k.o. said...

I don't watch Jimmy, Jimmy and Seth at nights for the very reason that, yes, they are not special. k.o.

wwolfe said...

I agree with your basic premise. But, to be fair, Johnny Carson hosted the Oscars many times and did a good job.

Mike Schlesinger said...

Talk-show hosts are preferable because they're used to working in front of live audiences and having the ability to think on their feet. If you've ever seen actors squinting at the TelePrompTer and mumbling the scripted lines, you know that many of them are simply not suited for this kind of task. And let's not forget that many of your "bona fide" movie stars began as stand-ups: Martin, Crystal, Goldberg, Rock--and of course the pro, Bob Hope.

joe baltake said...

True, Mike, but they also came with some credible acting credentials and a direct link to the industry. My issue with Fallon, Meyers, Kimmel and Corden is that one can see them all any night of the week - nothing special here, as I said - that the fact that they are now a non-negotiable part of the deal when a network signs on to telecast an awards show.

Mike Schlesinger said...

That was also true of Carson, and nobody objected to him then. I get what you're driving at, but again, hosting is not the same as acting, and I prefer someone who has actual emcee abilities to a movie person who doesn't know what he's doing (Franco and MacFarlane, to name two, as well as Robert Shaw, who was fairly embarrassing when he tried it in the late 70s).

Joe Amodei said...

I'm not in favor of the current slate of TV talk show hosts taking over Oscar but then again Oscar has gone down the drain a long time ago. The self congratulating has become incessantly boring and the political overtones are just nauseating no matter what side of the political spectrum you belong. But what irks me even more is the Academy's utter disdain for anything that didn't come out in the past ten years. There is no "love of cinema" in the shows any longer. Heck they even took away our ability to see the special Oscars and Jean Hersholt Awards and relegated them to a non airing. Guess the Academy no longer feels the movie loving public would want to see folks like Charlie Chaplin get his life achievement award. If he was around today and received it we would not have seen the acceptance speech. The Oscars used to be my Super Bowl of nights but not anymore. I miss what they used to be.
Joe A.