Having two hosts at the 2010 Oscars causes double the expectations for laughs. With Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin as the two hosts, the 2010 Oscars may bring down the house. An unlikely but fitting pair, Baldwin and Martin are a chance of pace from the last several hosts, as the Oscars continue to try and shake things up. However, this is a largely untested format in recent Oscar history, and one that got mixed results at the Emmys. Therefore, the 2010 Oscars have a lot of hope with these two hosts, but they carry a lot of risk.
In the past, multiple Oscar hosts were a tradition, not a rarity. The last time there was more than one m.c., Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn and Paul Hogen came together in 1987, back when hosting awards shows wasn’t so big. But after the momentum gained from Hugh Jackman’s work last year, the Oscars are going back to multiple talents.
Pairing Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin came out of left field but was largely well received. Martin has already hosted twice, while Baldwin has become an unlikely comedy icon. The two worked together on 30 Rock and It’s Complicated, and have hosted the most Saturday Night Live episodes ever, so most expect smooth comic sailing.
However, multiple hosts at the 2010 Oscars can fail as the Emmys proved recently. Having reality show hosts in charge failed miserably in 2008, while several nominees hosted to mixed effect in 2003. Of course, it works better with the right people in charge, and Martin and Baldwin appear to be those people. Yet in this pairing, Martin may have more to prove.
Baldwin has become a comic master on 30 Rock, which helped him revive his career. However, as Baldwin’s comedy cred has risen, Martin’s has fallen, thanks to a string of flop movies. Martin is still a comic legend, but he hasn’t added to that legend well in some time. Despite having more experience on the Oscar stage, Martin may need a boost from Baldwin to get some credibility back.
If the two hosts are on their game at the 2010 Oscars, it may not make a huge difference anyway, since hosts aren’t always that important. Nowadays, the host has a big routine in the opening minutes, then only appears for one gag every 10-15 minutes before an award. Even Jackman was mostly absent after his opening number last year. So if Baldwin and Martin bring down the house in the opening act, they may not have much more to do later on.
The two hosts of the 2010 Oscars have certainly added intrigue to an otherwise predictable Oscar night. There is a curiosity factor for certain, though its unclear how it will pay off beyond the opening act, and beyond this year’s Oscars as a while.
Columbia Spectator- “Two Oscar hosts cause double the debate”
Esquire- “Can The Oscars Change the Future of Hosting?”