Yale Ph.D. Student Wins “Anyone Can Host” Oscars Contest

We have a winner.

After a radical decision to hold a contest to decide this year’s host for the Academy Awards, the winner of the lottery was announced on Wednesday.

James Franco, 32, will be the first Oscars host in its history to have been picked at random. Franco, a Ph.D. student studying English Literature at Yale University, is still in disbelief that his number was called, out of the 675,000 contestants that applied to host.

“I…I just can’t believe it,” said Franco, “I just sent in an application as a joke, on a whim. I never thought this would happen.”

Franco fancies himself a bit of an entertainer. He’s written a collection of short stories, is an avid painter, and has been a street performing juggler for the past 17 years.

“I’ve never really had a passion for film,” Franco said as he painted a picture of the Green Goblin, “But I don’t think that will hinder me in any way during my Oscar hosting duties.”

Despite his apathy towards cinema, Franco has had a little bit of screen acting experience. In 2006, Franco played Bar Guy #1 in The Wicker Man.

“I’m not really an actor,” Franco said of his film appearance, “I’m more of a sculpting, tap dancing, whale watching kind of guy.”

“After we decided to have ten Best Picture nominees last year, we needed another way to switch it up,” said Academy President Tom Sherak, “Our awards show clearly doesn’t work. We need to fix it. In fact, there’s talk of putting the Best Supporting Actress race into a BCS format next year.”

Sherak adamantly defends his decision to hold the contest, despite Franco’s clear inexperience:

“Look, we could’ve done worse. Ricky Gervais could’ve entered the lottery.”

“I knew that I would be working with a totally random stranger,” said Franco’s Oscars co-host Anne Hathaway, “But this dude is so strange. Why did he even enter the contest in the first place?”

Yet Franco knows the magnitude of the daunting task at hand.

“When you think of all the Oscars hosts in the past 25 years: Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin, Billy Crystal, David Letterman, Billy Crystal, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Steve Martin, not David Letterman again, Billy Crystal, Billy Crystal, 2 Jon Stewarts, another 1.5 Steve Martins. They’re all great, but they haven’t done it all.”

Franco smiles, and pulls a copy of Ulysses out of his backpack.

“I’m going to be the first Oscars host in history to read a full James Joyce novel on stage.”

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