Close your eyes. Actually, don’t close your eyes because you’re reading. Close your metaphorical eyes and imagine with me: a heavy piano accompanied by the sound of nails rhythmically tapping on a typewriter. An Oscar nominee appears on a dark stage—let’s say Olivia Colman. We all love her right now. She sings an altered line from “9 to 5.” Another nominee appears! Mahershala Ali, perhaps. You love Mahershala! He sings the next line. Soon, the whole stage is filled with a hodgepodge of beloved Hollywood characters before the backdrop opens and she appears: Academy Award-nominated singer, actress, and businesswoman, Dolly Parton. You just got chills, didn’t you?
Ok, open your metaphorical eyes again. If you’re thinking, Justin, shouldn’t there be an Oscars host by now? You’d be correct. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. According to a report from Variety, the team behind the Oscars will simply be moving forward without a host. In the piece, Variety reported, “Barring an eleventh-hour pivot by the Academy—in the event that a superstar host materializes—the show producers are moving forward with a broadcast that will focus on starry skits and play up a high-profile year for music in film, thanks to likely nominees Lady Gaga, Dolly Parton, and Kendrick Lamar.”
Stop. Listen to me. Dolly Parton should host the Oscars.
After repeatedly insisting that he no longer wanted to have the conversation about his homophobic tweets, Kevin Hart continued the conversation about his homophobic tweets this past Monday on his Sirius XM show where he said it’s not his “dream to be an LGBT ally.” Perfect. We need more men to stop dreaming of things they’re clearly unqualified for.
Then I thought, Why was this ever on the table anyway? Having Kevin Hart host the Oscars is like asking me to commentate on the World Cup. I mean, I guess I’ll do it if you have chicken tenders, but I’m not qualified. The Oscars are the equivalent of Gay Culture Super Bowl, and the Venn diagram of people who watched Central Intelligence and people who watch the Oscars likely looks like this:
And yet, I’m offering a perfect solution: Dolly Parton. If we’re looking at track records, Parton has been nominated for two Academy Awards (with a likely third on the way for her single from the film Dumplin’), which is two more nominations than People’s Choice Award winner, Kevin Hart. From Steel Magnolias to Nine to Five, Dolly Parton has costarred in enough iconic Hollywood films that her presence as Oscars host wouldn’t seem the least bit contrived.
Parton isn’t going to waste your time either. When she presented at the Emmys with her Nine to Five costars a couple years ago, she received a bit of flack for being the non-partisan meat in a anti-Trump sandwich, but I like to believe that Dolly wasn’t being apolitical—she had a job to do, and she’s not going to waste your time when all of the winners can do an equally good or better job at making political statements. With Dolly, you’re going to get nine boob jokes, a vibrator pun, one non-denominational reference to God, thirty uninterrupted seconds of adorable laughter, a callout to Timothée Chalamet that will make your mother blush, and you’re out.
And speaking of the jokes, the ole girl has a repertoire. Yes, it’s a little predictable, but here’s the thing: you didn’t come to the Oscars for a comedy show. And if you did, there’s still a 50/50 chance that whomever is hosting is going to be revealed to be a predator within two years. Just take this cute Dolly Parton set and go. She talks about having a threesome with Jennifer Aniston. It’s so much fun! Scoot to 1:28.
When it comes to hosting gigs, we need to stop shooting for the moon… or wherever the Oscars were shooting for when they decided on Ride Along 2 star Kevin Hart. Read the room, you know? If you do, that room is going to tell that you they unanimously and unabashedly support the appointment of Dolly Parton as host of the Oscars. She may not be able to compete with Jolene, but by non-denominational god, she’s able to compete with any of the hosts who have trudged through the three-hour ceremony in the past ten years.