It’s official: British funnymen are the toast of Hollywood!
Just weeks after U.K. comedian Russell Brand and his trademark teased-out hair hosted the MTV Video Music Awards comes news that “Office” creator Ricky Gervais may helm the Oscars.
Following Gervais’ dry-humored speech advice at this past weekend’s Emmy crowd (“Don’t cry, it’s pathetic. It’s just an award.”) to his mock bullying of American “Office” star Steve Carell (“I made you what you are,” and “Give me my Emmy!”), Oscar organizers are putting pressure on Gervais’ reps to meet, according to Entertainment Weekly.
“The buzz around town is that Ricky should host the Oscars,” a source close to Gervais told the magazine.
But Gervais could face strong competition for the show job as the Academy Awards is broadcast on ABC — the same network “The Tonight Show’s” Jay Leno is rumored to be headed to when his NBC contract runs out in May.
According to Msnbc.com Entertainment Columnist Courtney Hazlett, Leno has a good chance of nabbing the gig.
“I think there’s a huge possibility that Leno could land the job,” she said. “Here’s the situation — award shows are dying a slow death. You need someone like Jay Leno who wants to show he’s still relevant to take over the helm and make people laugh again. If he can actually engage the audience and make people keep their television on for the whole show, then he’s going to be a hero.”
But there is also talk of a third contender for the Oscars — a Grammy winner.
After his own success helming the ESPYs, rumors also began flying around that Justin Timberlake could be up for the post, something he recently told Access Hollywood he would be thrilled to undertake.
“I think it’s an honor,” Timberlake said. “You know, I think it’s an honor to get to host a show of that caliber and I would gladly accept. No one’s reached out to me, but guess what? I’ll definitely be watching them.”