Are you a jovial-seeming, average-funny, okay-looking white dude named James? If so, I have good news for you. You’re probably hosting an awards show next year. Congratulations! If not, I’m sorry, but you might have no future in show business. Or at least in its most overrated ephemeral spotlight.
In August, it was announced that Jimmy Fallon would be hosting the 2017 Golden Globes ceremony, to which I was like, “Okay, sure.” In November it was announced that James Corden would be hosting the 2017 Grammys, to which I was like, “Oh, lol. Alright.” And then yesterday, it was announced that Jimmy Kimmel will be hosting the 2017 Oscars, at which point I was like, “Ummm, okay Hollywood, who are you and what have you done with all the funny people who don’t host late night talk shows and burn easily?”
But then we know exactly who Hollywood is, or what: the tiniest of echo chambers whose walls are particularly effective at bouncing off the sound of white dudes’ punchlines. The star-spangled microeconomy that mirrors our larger one. (Remember when the Times reported that “fewer women run big companies than men named John?” Four letter name that starts with J!!!) I want to trust it’s expanding — I look for the small victories every day — but this awards show line up feels almost comically regressive. But like, darkly comedic. Because they’ve all hosted so many times before and they’re all named James? Which I have to admit: I kind of love. It’s the sort of narrative move in a dystopian novel that would make you roll your eyes and go, “Come on, at least make it believable.”
But you know what? Maybe this is good. Give these guys the awards show hosting gigs! It’s a job engineered to embarrass all who hold it anyway. The few people who have succeeded only did so by defying expectations. Which…I mean…line-up all considering, I’m not holding my breath.
So good luck, James(es)!
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic for Raising Malawi via Getty Images.