Chris Rock either bombed or blew people away as the host of this year’s 88th Academy Awards, depending on who you ask. While some found his opening monologue about racial diversity to be refreshing, others felt it was too harsh and only further emphasized the issue. In any case, his performance has left many people asking who will take over from the comedian next year, and all eyes are on Kevin Hart!
According to recent reports, the Academy execs are already eyeing Kevin Hart for the 2017 ceremony, with one insider calling him the “frontrunner to host next year,” adding that they think he’d agree if they approached him with an offer. Although nothing is set in stone (these are still just rumors), here are five reasons why we think Kevin Hart would be the perfect person to host the 2017 Oscars.
1. He’s Funny
For starters, comedians have proven to work pretty well for the prestigious ceremony. The four hosts before Chris Rock—Neil Patrick Harris, Ellen DeGeneres, Seth MacFarlane, and Billy Crystal—are all known for their ability to make people laugh be it on television or on the big screen, and they ended up doing well on the Oscars stage. In fact, the 77th Academy Awards in 1998, hosted by Billy Crystal, is still the most-watched Oscars ceremony to date. Unfortunately, Chris Rock’s run at hosting this year was shadowed by the ongoing “Oscars So White” controversy, which may be why the number of viewers for the 2016 Oscars hit an eight-year low.
Who better to bring the numbers back up then Kevin Hart? He’s proven time and time again that he’s hilarious both as an actor and as a stand-up comedian. Speaking of stand-up, Hart has years of experience working the stage and is a natural in front of a live audience, so taking on the role of a host would be a perfect fit for him.
2. He’s Popular
Even Chris Rock knows that Kevin Hart is one of the biggest comedians today; he joked in his opening monologue that he considered dropping out as host, but didn’t want to lose yet another job to Kevin Hart, adding that he makes more movies than a porn star. The jab was all in good fun, but Rock did have a point—Hart is in demand because he’s popular! In addition to releasing three movies in the past year, Kevin Hart also did a domestic stand-up comedy tour, which was so popular that he turned it into an international tour. The What Now Tour started on January 20 with a show in Manchester and will travel through the U.K., Norway, Sweden, Germany, Singapore, Australia, and South Africa. Fortunately, the tour wraps up in April, so Kevin Hart would have more than enough time to prep for the Oscars!
3. He Appeals to a Younger Audience
While Chris Rock may still be a successful comedian in his own right, Kevin Hart just has a stronger appeal with younger viewers, because he’s just more relevant now, which kind of ties into why he’s so popular these days. The Oscars are often criticized for catering to an older crowed, which might be why ratings haven’t been as high as they should be. Tapping into younger audience might be what the Oscars need to reinvigorate the show and hopefully boost ratings; after all, more viewers translate to higher ratings!
4. He’s Relevant
Kevin Hart is good at addressing issues while still keeping his air of humor, which is a valuable skill to have when hosting a large-scale, highly publicized event like the Oscars, especially when it’s eclipsed by such a divisive issue like racial diversity (or the lack thereof). Hart brilliantly displayed his ability to address the issue in a positive light (as opposed to Chris Rock’s approach of mocking it) by applauding his fellow actors of color, particularly the ones that didn’t get nominated, when he took the stage to present an award at this year’s ceremony. “The reason why I say that is because I want them to understand that tonight should not determine the hard work and effort that you put into your craft,” said Hart, adding, “Let’s not let this negative issue of diversity beat us, let’s continue to do what we do best.” Needless to say, fans and stars alike appreciated his sentiment.
5. He Wants the Job!
Possibly the most important of our five reasons is the fact that Kevin Hart is gunning for the chance to host the Oscars. In an interview with Philly.com last year, Hart admitted that he would “definitely want to” host someday, adding that it would be a huge accomplishment in his career. “Right now, what I’ve done and the progress that I’ve made in my career, that’s definitely the next major step,” claimed Hart. We couldn’t agree more!