There are moments where the Academy likes to take a chance on an Oscars host. See 2013 with Seth MacFarlene, 2009 with Hugh Jackman or 2011 with James Franco and Anne Hathaway. A night those two will not forget in a hurry. But for 2017 they have settled on a safe pair of hands in talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.
The 49-year old is well versed in hosting elaborate events, starting with the 2007 ESPY Awards to the American Music Awards of 2008, 2012's White House Correspondents' Dinner and the 64th and 68th editions of the Primetime Emmy Awards respectively. Now the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host and executive producer is taking his talents to the grandest of stages and his CV has him well equipped to do the job.
Insiders Give Kimmel Two Thumbs Up
While Kimmel might not be everyone's cup of tea as he is one of many late night comedians from Jimmy Fallon to James Corden, Seth Meyers, Stephen Colbert and Conan O'Brien, Disney/ABC Television Group chief Ben Sherwood sees him as the right man for the right time. Speaking at a Q&A at the Paley Center before the decision was made official, Sherwood argued his past hosting performances earned him this night.
“We thought Jimmy elevated the Emmys,” explained the chief. “We thought Jimmy has earned it, and we’re very hopeful that Jimmy will get (the Oscar hosting gig).”
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) December 5, 2016
Best Actor Race Already Being Lined Up
Casey Affleck's Manchester by the Sea is scoring a lot of buzz already with critics. And, by the time February comes around, the Academy might see the younger Affleck sibling as worthy of beating out veteran Denzel Washington with his performance in the drama Fences. Yet Ryan Gosling might finally come into the picture for La La Land, opening up a race of frontrunners all at the top of their game.
Others in the mix include Tom Hanks for the Clint Eastwood biopic Sully as well as Australian Joel Edgerton for Loving. None of these films are on course to smash box office records, but the Academy loves nothing more than flick with a serious story that holds weight well beyond it's years. All top contenders, who will win out?