After Queen opened the Oscars, three queens – Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph – kicked the show off with a hilarious (and shady) bit. Hey, why weren’t THEY the hosts?
What do you do when you’re the Academy Awards and for the first time in 30 years, you don’t have anyone to host the event? Easy – you get Queen, one of the biggest bands in rock history, to open the Feb. 24 broadcast. But, what do you do after that? You get Tina Fey, 48, Amy Poehler, 47, Maya Rudolph, 46, to present the first award, Best Supporting Actress. Before Regina King could collect her award, the Saturday Night Alum decided to do what they do best: make everyone laugh!
“We are not your hosts,” Tina said, “but we’re going to stand here a little long so that the people who get USA Today tomorrow will think that we hosted.” Hilarious! “Just a quick update,” Maya added. “There will be no host tonight, there won’t be a Popular Movie category, and Mexico still won’t pay for the wall.” Even more hilarious! From there, the trio of queens rattled off some of the one-liners they would say if there WERE hosting. Hmm. Was this an audition tape for next year’s Oscars?
How did we get here? Kevin Hart, 39, was initially tapped to host the 91st Academy Awards. After fans unearthed some homophobic tweets he made in 2009 and 2010, the Night School star decided to bow out. From there, the question of who would replace Kevin as the ceremony’s MC went unanswered, until insiders with knowledge of the plans told Variety that the show would go on – without a host! Instead of “one marquee name to kick things off in a monologue filled with Trump zingers,” Variety reported at the time that the shows producers would use a “select crop of A-listers” to introduce segments. The broadcast will also rely on starry skits while “play[ing] up a high-profile year for music in film.”
The Oscars telecast has gone without a host only once before and after seeing what went down in 1989, it’s obvious as to why once was enough. In what has been considered one of if not the most embarrassing moments in Oscar History, Snow White (portrayed by aspiring actress Eileen Bowman) kicked off the 15-minute opening with a high-pitched rendition of “I Only Have Eyes For You,” serenading such visibly-mortified stars like Tom Hanks, Michelle Pfeiffer and Sigourney Weaver. She then travelled to the Post-Prohibition Cocoanut Grove nightclub, where Merv Griffin sang “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts,” before Rob Lowe came in to perform “Proud Mary” to his “date.”
The production bombed so bad that the producer, Allan Carr, was shunned by Hollywood, according to The Hollywood Reporter (it didn’t help he was coming off back-to-back flops like Can’t Stop The Music and Grease 2). Disney sued the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences for the unauthorized use of their version of Snow White. More than a dozen Hollywood icons – including Paul Newman, Julie Andrews and Gregory Peck – signed an open letter condemning the telecast as “an embarrassment.” Following the debacle, Billy Crystal was hired to host the next year.