Ellen DeGeneres back to host Oscars

Earlier this year, snarky, envelope-pushing Seth MacFarlane hosted the Academy Awards.

It was just announced that, next year, nice, likeable-to-all Ellen DeGeneres will do the honors.

Coincidence? Uh, yeah, right.

MacFarlane’s fans liked his Oscar comedy, but others felt it was too out-there for The Official Celebration of Hollywood. Me, I thought he had some good material but squandered it amidst pieces that ran too long — like the painful sequence with William Shatner and the one-joke “We Saw Your Boobs” song. Granted, he wasn’t helped by the producers’ decision to focus on musicals as the theme — and then to stage numbers in a decidedly old-fashioned manner.

DeGeneres is a safe choice, sure, but she’s also extremely funny. She’s good at improvising, too, which will come in handy.

I was holding out hope, though, that Neil Patrick Harris would host the Academy Awards and that the writers of the Tony Awards (easily the best-written awards show around these days) would do the backstage honors. Harris is ending up hosting the Emmys instead, which just means I’ve got to DVR those Emmys.

Who would you like to have host the Oscar ceremony on March 2?

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