Kevin Hart 2019 Oscars host replacements: Will Smith, Tiffany Haddish, more

In a fraction of a Scaramucci, Kevin Hart is out as Oscars host after stepping down from the role on Thursday night in the wake of controversy over past homophobic tweets.

One can only imagine the state of pandemonium at the Academy on Friday morning, where no doubt men and women in suits are frantically watching old SNL monologues and leaving Lin-Manuel Miranda endless voicemails. Hosting the Oscars is a famously thankless job, attempting to turn an antiquated format into something relatively fresh while still maintaining the gravitas of the night. So who should step in for Mr. Hart? At a minimum, someone without homophobic tweets (or at least more willingness to apologize for past wrongdoings).

Back in March, I compiled a list of possible 2019 hosts (for the record, I gave Hart the best odds at getting the slot, 1:3). The Academy should feel free to continue to heed my guidance for a new, updated list of who should take the worst gig in the business.

Melissa McCarthy (with Sandra Bullock!)

It seems astonishing that the Oscars have yet to tap the brilliant McCarthy, one of the best comedians working in movies today. And her chemistry with the also-hilarious Bullock was on full-display in The Heat. The two would play off each other brilliantly for the right mix of reverence and silliness. The only downside to this seemingly obvious match made in heaven is that McCarthy will almost certainly be honored for her dramatic role in Can You Ever Forgive Me? and she might not want to pull from that.

Key and Peele

Another phenomenal comedic duo: the Oscars would be the perfect place to reunite Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key. But like McCarthy, Peele has moved into a more serious space with his career, winning an Oscar himself in 2018, and he might not want to distract from that.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler

Hosting the Golden Globes three times has proven that these two are pros, and have great comedic chemistry. It’s surprising they haven’t made it to the Oscars yet.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

It’s hard to imagine the Academy hasn’t already begged the Broadway all-star to do the honors, but we’d be thrilled to see Miranda bring the Oscars opening away from generic monologues and back to songs.

Dwayne Johnson

The most likable man in Hollywood is close friends with Hart and might not accept the gig out of loyalty, but the famously positive actor would be an uncontroversial choice.

Tiffany Haddish

You can’t deny that that this would be fun. How can it not be with the magnetic Haddish, who already hosted the MTV Movie Awards and so clearly knows what she’s doing? And when she and Maya Rudolph presented together at the 2018 Oscars, it was perfection — so the Academy could also revive that dynamic duo.

Billy Eichner


John Mulaney and Nick Kroll

Truly, the only straight white men I will accept in this role. The two have been stellar hosts for the Independent Spirit Awards and would be phenomenal Oscar hosts. Ideally, we’d get a segment with Oh, Hello‘s Gil Faizon and George St. Geegland.

Trevor Noah

Another seemingly uncontroversial choice: Jon Stewart had previously made the leap from the Daily Show desk to the Oscars stage and as a seasoned stand-up, Noah seems like a reasonable choice to follow Stewart’s footsteps once more.

Will Smith

Charming and generally beloved, Smith checks the boxes for an Oscar host, especially when you consider that he also has the musical talent to give us an opening rap about Timothée Chalamet.

No one

A source tells EW there’s been some discussion about doing the Oscars without a host, and instead selecting individuals to do each section separately — someone for an opening song-and-dance number, a comic for the monologue, and others to present the categories. It’s not without precedent: there have been three years in which the Oscars didn’t have a central host (or hosts).

Related content:

  • Kevin Hart steps down from hosting Oscars to avoid ‘distraction,’ apologizes to the LGBTQ community
  • Oscars host Kevin Hart won’t apologize for past homophobic tweets despite Academy ultimatum
  • Oscars 2019: Kevin Hart set to host 91st Academy Awards

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