First, I’d like to thank the Academy...for not having a host this year. The 91st Academy Awards went host-less for the first time in 30 years and, in my opinion, it couldn’t have gone smoother. Many were skeptical (myself included) after Kevin Hart stepped down from the role and it was announced that no one would be replacing him.
The 2019 Oscars proved to be a success. It felt like the night was all about the winners and the awards, rather than about a single celebrity trying to prove their worth through failed jokes and shoving pop culture references down viewers’ throats. The absence of a cringe-worthy monologue or comedic stunt from a host was a welcome breath of fresh air, especially after years of entertainers trying—and failing—to outdo Ellen’s viral selfie from 2014.
Instead of a single name dominating the Hollywood’s biggest night, the Oscars provided a rotating cast of highly entertaining presenters, beginning with the amusing trio that is Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph. Other memorable presenters included the hilariously outfitted Brian Tyree Henry and Melissa McCarthy presenting Best Costume Design, fierce Serena Williams introducing A Star Is Born, and Hollywood royalty Julia Roberts closing as the presenter for Best Picture.
The lack of a host also allocated the proper time for winners to deliver poignant and uniquely personal acceptance speeches, without victor after victor being forced off by the orchestra. Some of the most notable moments were production designer Hannah Beachler’s inspiring words about doing your best, Olivia Colman’s wit and charm, as well as Spike Lee’s call to action in the coming 2020 election.
Though some were worried that Sunday’s program would be disheveled and confused, it was anything but. The show was shorter and funnier, and viewership was up by over three million compared to last year’s show. The question now is: will the Oscars remain host-less? One can only hope.