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February 12, 2019

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Oscars Poscars! It looks like the Oscars ceremony will air without a host on Feb 24, for the first time in 30 years. Credit ruthless bashing from critics and trolls and an outdated format for making it among the most thankless jobs in Hollywood.

Comedian Kevin Hart was initially named to emcee the three-hour show, but he backed out after an online firestorm over nearly decade-old jokes deemed homophobic. Even after a public apology and forgiveness from gay comedy icon Ellen DeGeneres, Hart still decided to stay away.

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson tweeted this week that he was the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' first choice to host the Oscars. But he couldn't do it while shooting the Jumanji sequel.

ABC, which has broadcast the show since 1976, went looking for a replacement who isn't too close to a competing network. That ruled out the stars of NBC's Saturday Night Live and talk-show hosts including James Corden, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert.

Also eliminated from the pool of possibilities: entertainers who hosted other awards shows this season, including Screen Actors Guild Awards host Megan Mullally, Golden Globe Awards emcees Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg and Critics' Choice Awards moderator Taye Diggs.

Not that celebrities are clamoring for the Oscars gig.

"If it was five years ago, I could say something really offensive and funny right now, but I can't do that anymore," Chris Rock, who hosted in 2005 and 2016, said recently at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards.

"Steve Martin is here. You should host the Oscars. You're the best," Rock added, according to Variety. "Because I'm not doing it."

Jimmy Kimmel, whose Jimmy Kimmel Live runs on ABC, hosted the last two Oscars. Not this year.

Anne Hathaway, who co-hosted with James Franco in 2011, said she initially turned down the gig and wishes she hadn't changed her mind. Her performance was slammed as manic and boosterish, playing more to the celebrity audience than those watching at home.

"It's just a no-win situation," Hathaway told "You're not trained at this. How is this going to enhance your life? ... Even the people who do it spectacularly well -- like Hugh Jackman, Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen DeGeneres -- usually just get a 'meh' from everyone. It's a really hard gig to stick the landing on."

Seth MacFarlane, who hosted in 2013, explains why it's so tough.

"When you're doing something that's that much in the spotlight, with that much focus on it, that much intensity, you're going to have a lot of opinions from a lot of people," MacFarlane told "I'm trying to think of the last time that I read a review of the Oscars the next day where everyone is raving about it -- it's been a long time."

He also said the show's "dusty format" doesn't dazzle contemporary audiences.

"There's always an effort to make it interesting and exciting to viewers who are used to a very different entertainment landscape in the modern era, and it's often times fitting a square peg in a round hole," MacFarlane said. "So, it's not an easy job, and I'm not surprised that they have a tough time finding takers."

2014 Oscars ringmaster DeGeneres questioned whether a single host is still the best format.

"They should just have multiple hosts and multiple people introducing categories, because it's not about the host anyway," she said. "No matter how well you do, it's really just about the performances and the awards. That's all anybody really cares about."

The last time the Oscars went hostless, it didn't go so well.

In 1989, instead of a monologue from a well-known comedian, the show opened with a campy musical number featuring non-singer Rob Lowe performing "Proud Mary" with an unknown actress dressed as Disney's Snow White and Merv Griffin crooning "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts."

Disney sued for copyright infringement and numerous screen stars, including Julie Andrews and Paul Newman, wrote a strong letter to the academy denouncing the ceremony as an "embarrassment to the academy and the entire motion picture industry."

Four-time host Whoopi Goldberg told Stephen Colbert on The Late Show that actor Ken Jeong would be perfect for the job.

"He would be brilliant," Goldberg said. "It would also constitute the first Asian American to host the Oscars. It would be a whole series of firsts. And he also loves film and I think that's what you need in a host. You need somebody who actually gets why films are great and can tell you the ins and the outs and the silliness of movies."

Jeong has said he is up for the challenge.

Billy Crystal, who has hosted nine times -- more than anyone other than Bob Hope -- said an emcee is useful.

"You're there to comment on something that happens," he told James Corden on The Late Late Show. "Because when you're the host you want something bad to happen and it's exciting for the audience... God knows we want it to be great. I wish everyone luck."

Well, if they do change their minds and go with a host, let us know who you'd like to see take over as host for the 2019 Oscars on

Be Well,

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Grammys: Childish Gambino wins Song of the Year

Sale 99centChildish Gambino's "This is America" took home the Song of the Year at the 61st annual Grammy Awards.

The track beat out competition from "All the Stars" by Kendrick Lamar and SZA, "Boo'd Up" by Ella Mai, "God's Plan" by Drake, "In My Blood" by Sawn Mendes, "The Joke" by Brandi Carlile, "The Middle" by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey, and "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

Gambino, the rap persona of actor Donald Glover, was not in attendance to accept the award.

Gaga was also a big winner at the Grammys, winning Best Pop Solo Performance for "Joanne (Where Do You Think You're Goin?)" and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for "Shallow."

Other winners include Ariana Grande winning Best Pop Vocal Album for Sweetener; Dua Lipa, Silk City, Diplo and Mark Ronson winning Best Dance Recording for "Electricity," Chris Cornell winning Best Rock Performance for "When Bad Does Good."

Grammys: Katy Perry, Kacey Musgraves pay tribute to Dolly Parton

Katy Perry, Kacey Musgraves, Miley Cyrus, Little Big Town and Maren Morris performed a special tribute to Dolly Parton at the 61st annual Grammys on Sunday.

Parton also took the stage to perform a number of her signature songs including "Here You Come Again" and "Jolene," among others.

The celebration ended with everyone coming together onstage for a rendition of "9 to 5" which featured a number of ticking clocks appearing in the background.

Parton is an eight-time Grammy winner who last performed at the awards show in 2001. She performed with Perry before at the 2016 Academy of Country Music Awards and Cyrus on The Voice also in 2016.


"I can't believe I'm gonna admit this, but I had moments when ... I was in the room with her, I would say, 'Dad?' There are some moments where she looks just like my father. I watch too many movies."
--Bradley Cooper, on seeing his late father in his and Irina Shayk's daughter Lea De Seine, to Oprah Winfrey on her SuperSoul Conversations TV special

??? Guess Who ???

Which Oscar-winning actor is producing a 'Right Stuff' series for National Geographic?

Will Smith debuts as blue Genie in 'Aladdin' trailer

Will Smith debuts as blue Genie in 'Aladdin' trailerDisney has released a minute-long trailer for its live-action remake of the 1992 animated movie musical Aladdin.

The clip, which has gotten nearly 2 million views since it was posted on YouTube Sunday, features Will Smith as his blue Genie character.

Aladdin's iconic wish granter is seen bare-chested and bald-headed, except for a long, high ponytail. He also is wearing a gold chain around his neck and bracelets around his wrists.

In the preview, Genie appears when Aladdin enters a desert cave, then finds and rubs a lamp.

"You really don't know who I am? Genie? Wishes? Lamp? None of that ringing a bell?" Genie asks his confused new master.

The late Robin Williams memorably voiced the character in the cartoon classic.

Guy Ritchie directed the remake, which stars Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, Marwan Kenzari as Jafar, Navid Negahban as the Sultan, Nasim Pedrad as Dalia, Billy Magnussen as Prince Anders, and Numan Acar as Hakim.

It is due in theaters on May 24.

Pink's kids give her homemade Grammy award after loss

Pink's children gifted her a homemade, tin foil award after she lost during the Grammy Awards.

Pink was nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album for Beautiful Trauma but lost to Ariana Grande's Sweetener on Sunday.

"Thanks Kids:) my favorite kind of award," the singer said on Instagram alongside photos of her kids, Willow Sage Hart, 7, and Jameson Moon Hart, 2, holding the tin foil Grammy.

"I think it's kind of rad that I just lost my 20th Grammy nomination. I'm always honored to be included. Now to get this sick baby in the bathtub. Congrats to all the nominees! Have fun tonight," Pink said on Twitter about the Grammys.

Pink recently received the 2,656th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame during a ceremony that was attended by her children and husband, Carey Hart.

??? Guess Who ???

Which Oscar-winning actor is producing a 'Right Stuff' series for National Geographic?

Leonardo DiCaprio is producing a National Geographic channel series based on Tom Wolfe's 1979 non-fiction book The Right Stuff.

Production is to begin this fall on the show, which is about the early days of the U.S. space program.

Mark Lafferty -- whose credits include Castle Rock and Halt and Catch Fire -- is to serve as showrunner.

Game of Thrones and Band of Brothers' helmer David Nutter is set to direct and executive produce the first episode.

"The behind-the-scenes stories of the astronauts in Tom Wolfe's bestseller The Right Stuff are engaging, provocative and timeless," Carolyn Bernstein, the channel's executive vice president of global scripted content and documentary films, said in a statement Sunday. "The book's narrative aligns perfectly with the qualities that we look for in scripted projects: fact-based, wildly entertaining and pushing the limits of human achievement."

Wolfe's book was adapted as a 1983 film starring Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid and Sam Shepard.

No casting for the series has been announced yet.

National Geographic and DiCaprio's Appian Way production company previously collaborated on the climate-change documentary Before the Flood.

DiCaprio's acting credits include What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Romeo + Juliet, Titanic, The Aviator, The Departed and The Revenant.

It was announced in October that DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese are reuniting for a film adaptation of the book Killers of the Flower Moon, a crime drama about the Osage Nation in 1920s Oklahoma.