Ever since it was announced that Kevin Hart would not be hosting the Oscars, the internet has been busy speculating about what the ceremony would look like without a master of ceremony leading the way. Many assumed the night would flop but a solid line-up of comedians made it the most entertaining ceremony in years and perhaps proved that the Oscars are better off without a host.
The night opened with Queen, fronted by American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert, playing a couple of their most anthemic hits (much to the delight of Javier Bardem). Then, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, and Maya Rudolph took the stage to present Best Supporting Actress and delivered a non-monologue that turned out to not-so-secretly be an opening monologue. Fortunately, the three were predictably phenomenal riffing about the nominated films, current events, and even having some fun at the ceremony’s expense.
“So just a quick update for everybody, in case you’re confused: There is no host tonight,” Rudolph explained. “There won’t be a popular movie category. And Mexico is not paying for the wall.”
While the trio’s effortless, hilarious banter proved to be the comedic highlight of the night (seriously, why not just let them host next year?), the rest of the ceremony was still filled with plenty of moments far funnier than anything from recent Oscars. Whether it was Keegan-Michael Key making a Mary Poppins-esque entrance, Melissa McCarthy auditioning for The Favourite 2 (complete with bunny rabbits), or Paul Rudd just being his charming self, the comedic performers brought a goofy tone to an awards ceremony that is often criticized as being dull.
The other major advantage? The lack of host ensured that the night moved along and, as a result, the entire ceremony was much shorter than the bloated affair it had recently become. Last year’s ceremony took nearly four hours thanks to several unnecessary, time-consuming gimmicks, while this year’s wrapped up well under three-and-a-half hours, meaning that East Coasters could get to bed before midnight without missing who wins Best Picture.
Could the success of tonight make the Oscars reconsider whether a host is really necessary for the ceremony? Only time will tell but unless it’s Tina, Amy, and Maya (or maybe the Rock), we’d best fine with another hostless Oscars in 2020.