Oscars insiders explain why not having a host for this year’s show is a great idea

billy crystal, oscars, oscars host

  • The 2019 Academy Awards will mark the first time the show
    hasn’t had a host in 30 years.
  • But that isn’t a bad thing.
  • Business Insider talked to past producers of the show and the
    consensus was that having no host is the best thing to happen to
    the Oscars in years.

For decades, the Academy Awards tried to attract viewers by
having a big-name celebrity like Bob Hope, Johnny Carson, or Billy
Crystal host the show. The hope was that even if you didn’t care
about the movies that were nominated, the celeb emceeing would make
you want to watch.

But times have changed — especially when it comes to the

Though it’s still the
most watched of any of the award shows
, Hollywood’s biggest
night is going through changes in the hopes to rebound after last
year’s record-low ratings, and keep the show’s running time at
only three hours. And though not having a host wasn’t initially
part of the plan (Kevin Hart dropped out following public uproar
over his past homophobic remarks), it could turn out to be one of
the best things about the night — both for the show’s producers
and the people watching.

“If you book presenters properly and they are big enough stars,
you don’t need a host,” Jeff Margolis, who directed the Oscars
telecast eight times, told
Business Insider

Along with directing many of the shows during its high-rated
glory days in the 1990s, Margolis also knows something about doing
the Oscars without a host. The first Oscars awards telecast he ever
directed was in 1989, the last time the show didn’t have a

Rob Lowe Snow White APThough that year
is infamously known for having a disastrous 11-plus minute
opening musical number
that featured a singing duet between
Snow White and Rob Lowe, show producer Allan Carr filled the
telecast with huge stars as presenters. They included hot “it”
couple at the time Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, and legendary
duos from the movies like “Vertigo” stars Jimmy Stewart and Kim

“Allan called it, ‘couples, companions, and compadres,'”
Margolis said about how they put together the presenters. “And it
really worked.”

The Academy looks to be taking a page from that night 30 years
ago to book talent for this year’s show.

Read more:
OSCARS ON LIFE SUPPORT: Academy insiders describe the problems
plaguing Hollywood’s biggest night, and how it could

There have
been reports
that producers are trying to get many of the
actors who play Marvel’s Avengers to hit the stage on Oscar

“That might be the only thing that’s good,” Lili Fini Zanuck,
who produced the 72nd Oscars in 2000 with her husband Richard D.
Zanuck, told Business Insider about this year’s show not having a

“If you only have a voice of God-type thing it might be better
off,” she said. “There are other shows that do that. It might save
a lot of time.”

The 91st Academy Awards air on ABC February 24.

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Oscars insiders explain why not having a host for this year’s show is a great idea