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Entertainment behind the scenes

Oscars choice of Hugh Jackman: hit or miss?

December 13, 2008

LEISURE(Writing and reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis)

 It’s a tough job hosting the Academy Awards. It’s supposed to be entertaining, but it’s also a night for the stars to revel in the glory of an Oscar win. And the host has to be edgy and funny, without going over the line and insulting the honorees.
But when it works, as it did in 1992 when tough-guy actor Jack Palance did push-ups in front of comedian and host Billy Crystal, only to become the butt of AUSTRALIACrystal’s jokes for the rest of the night, it makes for memorable moments. 
On Friday, the organization behind the Academy Awards named Australian actor Hugh Jackman as the host of February’s annual show. Jackman is the first non-comedian to single-handedly host the show in recent years. The last time an Australian hosted the show was in 1987, when to “Crocodile Dundee” AUSTRALIAstar Paul Hogan shared the stage with actress Goldie Hawn and comedian Chevy Chase. 
Coming off starring in “Australia,” which has had only limited box office success since its Nov. 26 opening with a total box office take of $43 million, Jackman will rely on song and dance instead of just jokes to entertain a worldwide audience on Oscar night.LEISURE TONYS

He has done well hosting the Tony Awards, the Broadway version of the Oscars, but the Oscars’ audience is used to comedians on the show. On a night where hype and pomp rule, the comedian’s role is often to keep the show grounded by injecting a jester’s dose of realism.

Jackman’s naming as host prompted a “love it or hate it” reaction here on our news floor in Los Angeles. There didn’t seem to be much in between, so we thought we’d leave it to readers to weigh in with their own thoughts. Hugh Jackman: an Oscar hit or miss?


Hugh Jackman is absolutely a marvelous choice. The man is multi-talented. Singing, dancing, a fantastic actor and he can be very funny. Even if he just does singing and dancing, doubters should go to youtube and find the routine he did at the Tony awards. It was one of the most outstanding routines I’ve ever seen. He sang and danced to a compilation of many songs. As for acting, even though the critics think Australia is too long, I’ve seen the movie and it was wonderful, due in large part to his abilities.

Posted by Pam Juttelstad | Report as abusive

Hugh Jackman is the perfect choice for Oscar host. I’ve seen the Tony clips and he is wonderful. I think he’ll do a marvelous job – he’s very down-to-earth, funny ad talented.

Posted by leena | Report as abusive

Brilliant choice. I don’t care if the “in” crowd are used to their lame comedian hosting, the rest of the world was over that years ago. This will be the first time in a eons that I’ll bother to tune in to it. Jackman is sexy and talented with just the right amount of humble goofiness thrown in. He should be great. Just as long as you horrible journos don’t get the knives out as soon as he walks on stage (actually I’ve seen one or two of you flashing claws already).

Posted by Jacki | Report as abusive

As an Australian very familiar with the array of talent presented top Movie goers and Broadway patrons this man is the real deal. A genuinely good actor, superb singer, presenter and a dazzling performer that commands a stage. Reminiscent of yesteryear’s Hollywood stars of the screen such as Errol Flynn, Clark Gable, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly combined. Such talents are rare!

Posted by John Godden | Report as abusive

Jackman did an outstanding job with the Tony Awards, and during his run of The Boy from Oz on Broadway he ad libbed with the audience each night – very quick and very funny,(go to You Tube and watch the bit with Sarah Jessica Parker) – so along with his great singing voice, dancing ability and very good looks, he is an excellent choice.

I believe that he will do a great job.

Posted by Teresa Harris | Report as abusive

I think it’s an excellent choice. It’ll be different for sure, but that’s the more reason to look forward for it. Plus, he’s gorgeous and I don’t mind staring at his face for hours :).

Posted by Jen | Report as abusive

I thought HUGH JACKMAN was wonderful!!!!!!!!!!! Will definitely gp see his movie, AUSTRALIA. Hope he sings and dances all the way thru it!

Posted by Shirley Ryan | Report as abusive

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