5 stars we'd like to see host the Oscars

These celebs would liven up Oscar ceremony

By Tim Lammers, Contributing writer

Thankfully, Billy Crystal was waiting in the wings and ready to host the 84th annual Academy Awards after Eddie Murphy -- the show's initial host -- abruptly quit in December. For a refresher, Murphy left the gig after his filmmaker buddy, Brett Ratner, resigned as one of the show's producers after making controversial anti-gay remarks.

The Academy really lucked out landing Crystal for his ninth hosting gig, as the comedy star has proved time and again over the years that he's as close to a sure thing hosting the event as you can get.

But the truth is, Crystal can't host the Oscars every year, so the Academy should already be considering a host for the 85th celebration. Here's a list of people that we'd like to see hosting the big event next year ...

No. 5: Seth Rogen

When it was clear that Ricky Gervais wasn't going to go for broke (as promised) at this year's Golden Globes, several presenters and winners stepped up.

Among them was comedy actor Seth Rogen, who presented an award with the stunning Kate Beckinsale, who is every bit as fetching in an evening gown as she is in skin-tight leather as the drop-dead gorgeous vampire Selena in three of the four "Underworld" movies.

Whether Rogen what thinking of Beckinsale in her dress or in "Underworld," there was something apparently stirring within, as he shamelessly delivered an off-color remark about a certain part of his anatomy reacting to his co-presenter.

Self-deprecating humor is always welcome, and Rogen is a master at delivering it. A gifted comedian (and writer -- he co-penned "50/50"), Rogen is the sort of comedian the Academy needs to think quick on his feet. The Academy needs to give him a shot -- and not censor him.

No. 4: Kristen Wiig & Melissa McCarthy

Now that both comedy superstars have been legitimized by the Oscars for their talents on "Bridesmaids" -- Kristen Wiig (along with co-writer Annie Mumalo) nabbed a Best Original Screenplay Oscar nom and Melissa McCarthy more than earned a Best Supporting Actress mention -- the Academy needs to consider them as co-hosts for the big event.

You have to remember, both Wiig and McCarthy are alums of Los Angeles' famed Groundlings improvisational troupe and have the ability to keep things lively without missing a beat.

And of course, it doesn't hurt that Wiig and McCarthy are continually hailed for their comedy work in television's "Saturday Night Live" and "Mike & Molly," respectively, since Oscar hosts should always have a sense of humor.

If anything, giving them a shot -- as soon as next year -- will give the Academy a chance to make up for one of its biggest flubs in history: the snub of "Bridesmaids" in this year's Best Picture race.

No. 3: Eddie Murphy

True, actor Eddie Murphy flipped off the Academy only a few months ago when he pulled out of this year's hosting duties; but they'd be foolish not to consider the comedy actor for a future hosting gig.

While several of Murphy's movies have flopped over the years -- "Pluto Nash" and "Meet Dave" among them -- people tend to forget how funny of stand-up comedian Murphy is, or at least, was. Plus, as a sketch comedian, he was brilliant on "Saturday Night Live."

Murphy was an excellent choice as a host who could think quick on his feet if the moment presented itself; a quality totally lacking in 2011's hosts, Anne Hathaway (although she tried her best) and James Franco (who did not).

Funny bone aside, Murphy would also bring a wild card to the table called unpredictability. He can also be very opinionated, and proved it on the Oscar stage in 1988 when he chided the Academy for its lack of black nominees.

No. 2: Jack Nicholson

If you're going to ever leave to chance letting a straight-up actor take hosting duties again after the James Franco-Anne Hathaway debacle, then turn the podium over to Jack Nicholson for the evening.

For one, he's used to being on stage, with three Oscar wins, and he's been featured in an endless amount of cutaways whenever he attends. There's a reason for that, of course. The man is Hollywood cool. If anybody else but Nicholson wore his shades to the Oscars, they'd be lambasted. But when Jack does it, he commands your respect. The guy is larger than life.

Of course, you'd have to let Jack be Jack for a totally successful gig.

That means allowing the guy to let loose with his obscenities. With maybe the exception of Samuel L. Jackson, no living actor has a greater command on the F-bomb than Jack. There would be a lot of bleeping, of course, but the television viewers would get it.

No. 1: Ricky Gervais

Let's be honest, Ricky Gervais was a flop of epic proportions in his third and presumably final Golden Globes hosting gig this year, but that doesn't make the man any less funny overall.

As much as the Golden Globes thinks it influences the Oscars, they still are small potatoes to the Motion Picture Academy -- which needs its Golden Boy to be a bit tarnished for going all high-art on us year after year with unexplainable nominations that wreak of a "we're smarter than you" attitude.

And who better to throw the dirt the statuette's way than the master mudslinger Gervais?

Of course, the Academy would know going in that they'd have a live-wire on their hands with Gervais, and as much as they'd try to muzzle his thoughts on over-privileged actors and the hypocrisies of Hollywood, he'd presumably do what he pleases.

The beauty is, he'd bring in big ratings, which is exactly what the Oscars need. And if Ricky is a winner (how could he NOT be?), the Academy would be forced to bring him back.

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