Drop It Like It’s Haute: 5 Authors We Want to See Host the Oscars

Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Chief of Staff

Rebecca Joines Schinsky is the executive director of product and ecommerce at Riot New Media Group. She co-hosts All the Books! and the Book Riot Podcast. Follow her on Twitter: @rebeccaschinsky.

Welcome to Drop It Like It’s Haute, a weekly celebration of that unholiest of marriages between pop culture and literature.


We don’t remember doing it, but we must have hopped into the wayback machine (or the Delorean from Back to the Future) because Billy Crystal is set to host the Oscars. That’s right folks, 1990 is calling, and it wants its mediocre and only-funny-to-people-over-the-age-of-50 comedian back.

So we’ve been thinking: what if the Oscars ditched the tired, safe, snoozefestathon host selections and invited an author (who could, you know, write his or her own material) to host instead? Here are our top five choices, in no particular order.

1. Lev Grossman: The social observations and pop culture references in The Magicians and, to a greater extent, The Magician King, are so smart, so sly, and so perfectly placed that we just *know* Grossman could kill it. And if there’s a delay while some starlet changes her dress for the twelfth time? He can recite “The Owl and the Pussycat” from memory. I’ve seen him do it, and it is memorable.

2. Sarah Vowell: That voice! Those mostly useless but totally fascinating bits of trivia! The political statements that will make at least half the audience uncomfortable! Sure, it’d be super awkward, and we’re willing to bet that almost no one in attendance would know who Vowell is, but it would be impossible to look away from in the best possible way. Turn it up to 11 with a guest appearance (and dance number, natch) with David Sedaris.

3. Colson Whitehead: If you’ve seen his Twitter feed (and really, there’s no excuse for not having done so at this point), this requires no further explanation. Also, he could probably make “Oprah, Uma. Uma, Oprah” sound compelling.

4. Margaret Atwood: Charming, witty, and surprisingly funny (given the dark worlds she creates), Atwood has a quiet, confident stage presence that would offer a refreshing change of pace from the OOOOH SHINY OBJECTS-ness of the usual Oscar broadcast. She can also sing a bit (those songs in The Year of the Flood aren’t for nothing) and could pull double duty by hosting the technical awards as well.

5. Zombie Hunter S. Thompson: This one’s a pick from Editor in Chief Jeff O’Neal. You’ve seen Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, right? Imagine that in front of the Hollywood A list. Enjoy.

Your turn! Holler back in the comments below with your ideas for author Oscar hosts. And no, we do not accept the premise that Snooki is an author.