Whoa – just when you thought the Oscars had lost its capacity to surprise, along comes news like this. Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin have been tapped to co-host the 82nd Academy Awards ceremony next March.
Martin, of course, has hosted the ceremony before on two occasions, but this will be Baldwin’s first time. The ceremony has had multiple hosts before, but this is the first time, according to The Hollywood Reporter, that two people will have hosted the Oscars while standing in the same room since the very first ceremony in 1929, when Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and William C. DeMille pulled double duty. And who can forget how that turned out.
We’ve no idea how this new pairing will work, but frankly we’re hugely excited. It’s something fresh and different, even if the potential for Roy Evans/Gerard Houllier-style disaster is very real, and the Oscars can never have enough of both elements. Both Baldwin and Martin – who are vying with each other for the Saturday Night Live guest hosting record – are extremely funny guys and, let’s not be coy, frickin’ legends.
And, although our initial reaction was that this would simply be a shameless way of plugging their upcoming film, It’s Complicated, in which they play two guys competing for Meryl Streep’s affections, that movie comes out in December, almost three months before the ceremony. So we prefer to think of this as a victory for the wonderful 30 Rock, in which Martin once guest-starred and which, of course, Baldwin dominates.
The decision is a sign that new Oscar producers, Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic, are determined to shake things up. "We think the team of Steve and Alec are the perfect pair of hosts for the Oscars,” they said, as a single entity, in a statement.
"Steve will bring the experience of having hosted the show in the past and Alec will be a completely fresh personality for this event."
And the jokes have already started, with Martin calling Baldwin “his enemy”. Mark March 7 in your film calendar, folks. This could be a good ‘un.