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Who should host this year’s Oscars? Here are our top contenders

After going without a host for three years, the Oscars will have one when it airs in March. Here are some candidates we like for the job.
/ Source: TODAY

Choosing the host for the Academy Awards is not for the faint of heart. In fact, it's such a difficult job that for there hasn't even been an Oscars host since 2018.

And really, you need one, notes Turner Classic Movies host Dave Karger. "Last year’s ceremonies showed you really need someone there to tie the whole evening together and provide consistency and comment on the goings-on and drop some spontaneous jokes," he told TODAY.

That looks like the direction things are heading: On Tuesday we learned that there would be a host (or possibly more than one host) for 2022's ceremony, which takes place on Sunday, March 27 on ABC.

But just who to choose? One person or a team? A veteran or fresh face? Here are some ideas about who may be considered, and who just might land the gig.

Jimmy Kimmel hosting the 90th Oscars in 2018. Ed Herrera / Disney

Jimmy Kimmel

Why Him? The "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" host has proved to be a versatile and popular awards show host, having overseen the Oscars in 2017 and 2018, and the Primetime Emmys in 2012, 2016 and 2020.

Expert Analysis: "Kimmel would be a nice return, but I don't see what he has to gain from it," Karger tells TODAY. "He's a good, safe choice, which might be the way the Academy wants to head after several host-free years.

Martin Short, Selena Gomez and Steve Martin, stars of "Only Murders in the Building," in New York City in 2021.Gotham / GC Images

Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez

Why Them? The stars of "Only Murders in the Building" are dynamite together and coming off a hit first season of the Hulu series. They also cover a few bases, and could attract a multigenerational audience. Plus, Martin has hosted solo twice (2001, 2003) and with Alec Baldwin once (2009).

Expert Analysis: "Steve Martin and Martin Short would be interesting as a choice, but it doesn't feel very young," Karger says. That could be solved with the addition of Gomez, who's 29 and a former Disney star.

Kevin Hart at the 2016 MTV Movie Awards in Burbank, California. Kevin Mazur / WireImage

Kevin Hart

Why Him? Hart was tapped to host the 2019 awards, but stepped down after old comedy routines were considered insensitive. He's still a big stand-up draw and has hosted the BET Awards (2011) among others.

Expert Analysis: "I think at this point he’s still a little too fraught with complications and potential issues that are not worth dealing with this year," says Karger.

Tom Holland and Zendaya at the Los Angeles premiere of "Spider-Man: No Way Home" in 2021. Amy Sussman / Getty Images

Tom Holland and Zendaya

Why Them? The "Spider-Man: No Way Home" stars and real-life couple are red hot, both at the box office and on social media. Both 25, if they hosted they'd be the youngest stars to land job. The record is currently held by Anne Hathaway, who was 28 when she shared duties with James Franco in 2011.

Expert Analysis: "They are the stars of the No. 1 movie of the year, they would bring a younger audience in, he has said he'd be interested, they’re a real-life couple and have great chemistry, and she would bring some much needed and welcome diversity," says Karger.

Lin-Manuel Miranda at a screening of "Tick, Tick... Boom!" in Los Angeles in 2021. Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Why Him? For one thing, the Pulitzer-and-Tony-winning "Hamilton" creator loves to be in the room where it happens. But in all seriousness, he's charming, funny and may end up as a nominee this year. "Encanto," for which he contributed songs and received a story credit, has been a smash for Disney.

Expert Analysis: "He will likely be a nominee for writing songs from 'Encanto,' which is a Disney movie, so it’s in the family of ABC," says Karger. "He’d be an exciting choice and would gather a lot of his famous friends."

Chris Rock during the 88th Annual Academy Awards in 2016 in Hollywood, California. Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Chris Rock

Why Him? He's a two-time Oscar host veteran (2005, 2016) and he's whip-smart funny.

Expert Analysis: "He'd be interesting; he's done it before," says Karger. "He along with Billy Crystal are the two past hosts that were very popular and well-received and could bring in a sense of familiarity in an uncertain time."

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in 2019; Leslie Jones at the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards in Los Angeles. NBC, Getty Images

'SNL' Alums: Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Leslie Jones

Why Them? We'd watch any show featuring any combination of these great "Saturday Night Live" vets; plus, they all have awards show hosting experience. Fey and Poehler helmed the Golden Globes from 2013 to 2015 and again in 2021, while Jones hosted the BET Awards in 2017 and is a raucously funny stand-up and social media voice.

Expert Analysis: "No shot," says Karger, citing TV politics. In general, the network airing the Oscars has a say in who gets to stand behind the mic, Poehler and Fey are not part of the ABC brand. But Jones is — she hosts "Supermarket Sweep," which might up her chances.

Pete Davidson during rehearsals for "Miley's New Years Eve Party" in 2021. 30th.Jeff Daly / NBC

Pete Davidson

Why Him? He's red-hot and super popular, particularly if you look at his dating record. But that aside, he's funny, appeals to younger viewers and is a seasoned stand-up comedian, like Rock, Martin and Hart. A source recently told the New York Post Davidson was in talks with Oscar producers about the gig.

Expert Analysis: Despite the recent rumors, Karger doesn't like the 28-year-old's chances, putting the odds at "less than zero."

Awkwafina at the 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, California, in 2021. Rich Polk / NBC


Why Her? She's incredibly funny and won a Golden Globe for her role in 2019's "The Farewell." "Crazy Rich Asians," in which she co-starred, was a zeitgeisty smash in 2018.

Expert Analysis: "Awkwafina would be a fun outside-the-box choice," says Karger. "She's young, smart, and has a large and loyal following."