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Sacha Baron Cohen Was Considered as Oscar Host

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 19th 2010 3:03PM
sacha_baron_cohen_headshotThe history of the Academy Awards telecast has been generally a pretty traditional show. You've had historic moments of bad taste like Rob Lowe dancing with Snow White, bizarre musical opening numbers from the likes of Lucie Arnaz and Liza Minnelli -- not together -- and, of course, great highs like most of the Billy Crystal musical medleys of the Best Oscar nominees.

This year if Billy were there, his medley would be about 20 minutes long to include all ten nominated movies! They'd have needed an oxygen tank in the wings to revive him after that.

But here's a wickedly wild idea that might have set the Oscars into to fierce wilderness of 'oh-my-God' TV. The Oscar producers were toying with the idea of having Sacha Baron Cohen host the show. Yep, believe it. Producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic were on NPR's 'Fresh Air' with Teri Gross, and they said when they contemplated shaking up the broadcast, they thought of 'Borat.'

Sacha Baron Cohen, the comic genius behind 'Borat' and 'Bruno' and Ali G, is nothing if not creative and a push-the-envelope kind of performer. He would be someone that would fall into the category of dangerous because who's to know if he would stick to the script and not do something outrageous. Remember when there was a streaker on the Oscars in 1974? Sacha might have opened the show with a streaking -- imagine that?

So, does the fact that Sacha was considered and instantly rejected by the powers that be make you feel more inclined to watch this year or not? Do Shankman and Mechanic get brownie points for even letting us know that Cohen was on the top of the host list? What do you think?
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The fact that the Oscars let Chris Rock host was about as edgy as it's gonna get. Clearly Rock's mild jokes just shook those stuffed shirts the wrong way, see Sean Penn's response. So clearly if Sascha hosts, some of his material may just cause a riot. Now both Chris Rock and Sascha are hilarious I've said this once and I'll say it again, give Conan O'Brien a chance to host, he's in the public spotlight, now more than ever. And he's free to be on T.V. in september, so next year should be fine. The man is able to be funny and original within the awards show context.

February 19 2010 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yet another person with no talent who has to resort to being outrageuous.

February 19 2010 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to JennyL's comment


You're saying Cohen has no talent? Really? Because you could get into a character and maintain that character for hours... even when drunk (and you don't drink in your personal life)? Cohen may not be your thing but the man has discipline and a load of talent. Da Ali G show isn't something that appeared with Borat.

No talent... that's mind boggling. I'd say 99% of the actors out there couldn't create a character, let alone maintain it for hours.

February 20 2010 at 12:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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