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Oscar Presenters and a 'Whoopi Goldberg as surprise host' conspiracy theory!


Remember when Oscar was threatening to dump Frances McDormand, Gary Oldman, Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell as presenters because they weren't "famous" enough even though they've all been popular actors in multiple hit movies and TV shows for at least two decades? Somehow the past two weeks of announcements in regards to who will prsent on Oscar night make that inane earlier compulsion even more ridiculous a significant percentage of the forthcoming presenters are NOT as famous than those four.

Nevertheless, trying to make sense of the current leadership of their Academy and their perpetually boneheaded decisions is obviously a fool's errand. That way lies madness as they simply do NOT know what they're doing. We're beginning to question whether they even understand simple concepts like "entertainment" and "fame" and maybe even "movies" at this point. The complete lists of performers and presenters announced (thus far) plus a wonderful if short-lived conspiracy theory that we wanted to believe in after the jump...



  • Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga ("Shallow")
  • Jennifer Hudson ("I'll Fight")
  • Bette Midler ("The Place That Lost Things Go")
  • Gillian Welch and David Rawling ("When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings")
  • Queen and Adam Lambert (presumably a medley of Queen hits to celebrate Bohemian Rhapsody since the producers of the show are, you know, worried about coming in under 3 hours)


They haven't yet made an announcement about the performance of the Black Panther nominated song "All the Stars"


  • Chef Jose Andres
  • Awkwafina
  • Javier Bardem
  • Angela Bassett
  • Chadwick Boseman
  • Dana Carvey
  • Emilia Clarke
  • Daniel Craig
  • Laura Dern
  • Chris Evans
  • Tina Fey
  • Elsie Fisher
  • Danai Gurira
  • Whoopi Goldberg
  • Brian Tyree Henry
  • Samuel L Jackson
  • Stephan James
  • Allison Janney
  • Michael B Jordan
  • Michael Keaton
  • Keegan-Michael Key
  • Brie Larson
  • Queen Latifah
  • Kiki Layne
  • Congressman John Lewis
  • Jennifer Lopez
  • Diego Luna
  • James McAvoy
  • Melissa McCarthy
  • Frances McDormand
  • Helen Mirren
  • Jason Momoa
  • Tom Morello
  • John Mulaney
  • Mike Myers
  • Trevor Noah
  • Gary Oldman
  • Sarah Paulson
  • Tyler Perry
  • Amy Poehler
  • Krysten Ritter
  • Sam Rockwell
  • Paul Rudd
  • Maya Rudolph
  • Barbra Streisand
  • Amandla Stenberg
  • Charlize Theron
  • Tessa Thompson
  • Pharrel Williams
  • Serena Williams
  • Constance Wu 
  • Michelle Yeoh

That's 52 people and given that there are 24 categories, 8 best picture introductions, and presumably 7 musical performances to introduce (the ones listed plus maybe the in memoriam), and inevitable montages, we expect maybe a couple more names to surface. It's very annoying though that there's only ONE classic star (Barbra Streisand, who is not that exciting because she's always chosen) presenting. Seriously she's it in terms of people who were famous before the 1980s. I mean you can't even throw us one name from the musical trio of Angela Lansbury, Harry Belafonte, and Dick Van Dyke who were ALL in Oscar-nominated movies this year?  Why must the Academy be so so perpetually / aggravatingly hateful to Old Hollywood?

And finally. We briefly got excited about the best conspiracy theory we'd heard yet about the presenters list, courtesy of Peter Knegt:



Whoopi as secret host?!

 That's a conspiracy theory worth believing in and it sounds highly plausible since she has been missing from "The View" and that's an ABC show! While we maintain that the lack of a host is not as disastrous as the media was making it out to be we were worried that the lack of a host PAIRED WITH the chaos of this particular ceremony was going to be awful, so if she's the secret host that would be quite a happy result... at least in theory.

Whoopi Goldberg was a great Oscar host. She had the four crucial host ingredients: a) funny b) connected to the movies in some genuine way c) at ease with live audiences and in-the-moment performing and d) a huge fan of the Oscars. That last ingredient is not mandatory to executives at ABC or at the Academy but we could avoid so much trouble and heartbreak if it were. And why isn't it? Anybody that doesn't love what you're about is a really bad fit as, essentially, your brand ambassador. It's not that complicated! 

BUT SAD UPDATE: The ladies of "The View" have now addressed this rumor to debunk it, saying that Whoopi is recovering from pneumonia. Having had pneumonia once before it can be a total lengthy beast of a sickness so I hope she doesn't have to drop out of presenting this weekend. Get well soon, Whoopi!

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Reader Comments (42)

I actually really hope the secret Whoopi theory is true. And honestly, it makes a lot of sense.
I really agree with your statement that the Oscars should be hosted by someone who loves the Oscars and Whoopi really does. One of the more underrated hosts IMO. Her 1993 Oscars monologue is gold.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

e) oscar winner

don't forget they also announced movie related [?] serena williams for some 'a star is born' tribute/nonsense

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Oh and also Kacey Musgraves is presenting. YEE HAW.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew

I don't think a host is necessary or at least not the attention hogging time wasting position it's morphed into. If they must have one let them do a very quick intro and then be there to shepherd the whole thing along with fast intros. No skits, no running up and down the aisle or any of that other useless crap.

While I'm glad to see they reversed yet another boneheaded decision and invited last year's winners to present there is not one single truly iconic star such as Julie Andrews, Sophia Loren, Angela Lansbury not even a De Niro or Rita Moreno! I guess it's not really surprising considering how disconnected the group of fools in charge are and how they obviously have no clue who their audience really is

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Seemingly, people from outside the entertainment industry are doing the BP introductions (E.g. Serena Williams for "Star is Born") -- to show what movies mean to "ordinary people".

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan C.

If nothing else, I hope Whoopi continues her tradition of wearing the nominated costumes. Her 1998 bit dressed as everything from Queen Elizabeth (“the African Queen”) to Velvet Goldmine still leaves me in stitches.

February 19, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJames from Ames

Yeah, you forgot Serena Williams who is just the first of the 8 non-entertainment industry people who will present one of the Best Picture nominees talking about what the film meant for them. I do hope they are as fabulous and random as Serena Williams talking about A STAR IS BORN though.

I actually think this is one smart decision they've made? Obviously people love movies and nothing just people who make movies. So why not reach out to famous people to talk about BP nominees that they love? Will also broaden the audience to outside the film bubble.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

Hmmm. that Serena Williams thing was not in the Oscar press releases. will have to search elsewhere.

Joel6 -- no classic stars is worrisome. Rita Moreno and Eva Marie Saint were huge hits recently doing that. Why do they think people dont like this? They are SO WRONG.

February 20, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

What is the bet that Helen Mirren is doing in memoriam?

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Would be a nice surprise if Whoopi hosted again. It'd be a full circle moment since Halle broke the color barrier in Best Actress while Glenn Close and Donald Sutherland were backstage doing the commentary that ceremony. And now Sutherland has his honorary thanks to Whoopi advocating for it -- while Glenn is positioned to get her overdue.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I don't think it's been mentioned .. relative or not .. Whoopi is on the board of governors. Enough said ..

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJJ

If this theory turns out to be true it would make me very happy. My favourite Whoopi moment was when she was dressed as Queen Elizabeth from Shakespeare in Love. This year she could come out in a Queen Anne costume or something from Black Panther.
At least Bette Midler will be singing.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

/3rtful, a particularly stretched out and slightly lame circle, but we'll allow it. It also happened on a stage with cameras. FULL CIRCLE!

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commenter4artless

The list of presenters is disappointing.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Whoopi walking out in Queen Anne regalia... Be still, my heart! Also, it’s funny to think about Serena Williams presenting the movie her close friend (and former Gaga collaborator), Beyoncè, was slated to star in. I imagine Bey likes the movie, too.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMJ

The presenters lists has some great comics on it which is exciting, and is a diverse bunch, but the lack of iconic stars is very sad.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCal

So the ‘we’re so pressed for time that we need to cut 4 categories’ ABC station now has time allotted for an opening Queen number, a Bette Midler performance and Whoopi strolling in to tell jokes? Thought that it was urgent to get this ceremony done within 3 hours?

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

I want Steve Martin one more time. I love Steve Martin.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Man, it would be terrific!
Crossing fingers here!

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterFabio Dantas Flappers

I believe Whoopi also hinted at something "happenin" for the oscars. She said it coyly and she changed the subject quickly. I would love for her to host again....I still love the year she came down from the rafters a la nicole kidman singing "come and get me boys...."

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterfilmboymichael

Wait, wait.. Are they NOT showing the acting clips in each category?

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Who do we think is presenting Best Picture? Honestly, Whoopi is the only one on this list that makes sense to me. (Maybe Sam Jackson.)

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGuestguestguest

If SAGs and Globes can get by perfectly fine with no host, so can the Oscars. But Whoopi as "secret host" is kinda baller though. Can something like that really happen in his day and age? If so, I wish I hadn't read that tweet about it so I could be completely surprised.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSamson

I’d like to see Mel Brooks present Best Picture. This Oscar-winning five-star treasure will not be with us much longer. Please please please - no politics / no Trump bashing. He should be ignored; in bashing him - they give him the attention he loves and craves. Not one mention of that dolt! The Grammies had very little, if any, policitics and trump. I’ve watched every oscars since Julie Andrews won. Please have a few veteran stars - Beatty, MacLaine, Ann-Margret, Michael Caine, Travolta & Olivia, Cher / Cage / Dukakis, Leslie Caron, Redford, Julie Christie, Jane & Peter Fonda, sally field. I believe e Dustin Hoffman is now on the shit list?

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJimmy

This morning The View confirmed that whoopi is just sick and is *not* hosting the oscars. :(

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

Let's play "HUH?" America's favorite game where you look through the list of presenters and say which one baffles you the most!

My votes: John Mulaney and Krysten Ritter! Huh?

Also I had to look up Stephan James, but it makes sense.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commentershawshank

Are the Oscars telling me KiKi Layne is more famous than Frances McDormand.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

She was coughing a LOT on The View and her assigned seat is next to Abby Huntsman, who is pregnant with twins. Pneumonia is a beast.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJakey

Mike -- it's just a guess that they aren't showing them since they are putting in all these "extra" things and you know how dumb they've been about including what people actually want to see. Nobody needs to see trailers for all the nominated pictures again. We've been seeing them for, in some cases, over a year now so it's just highly unecessary. But clips for acting is thrilling even if you've seen the movie because it's like "ooh, which will they pick!" and for people who haven't seen al lthe performances it can be exciting too. I remember as a little kid watching the Oscars when I was at the mercy of convincing adults to take me to the movies that I would totally become curious about certain movies and actors because of seeing their clips.

February 20, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

shawshank -- yeah, I really like Krysten Ritter (i had to look up Mulaney) but in no way is she anywhere near as famous as any of the acting winners last year. And she's not really even a movie person anymore since she's soley tv now.

as for Stephan James and Kiki Layne, while they aren't famous in any normal "presenting at the Oscars" kind of way, at least they're connected to movies of the year being celebrated and we like that too.

February 20, 2019 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Queen & Adam Lamebert? No thanks. Lamebert sucks ass. He can't sing for shit as all he does is wail and whine.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

a lackluster group/// but let's face it.. there really is little glamor left in Hollywood. It will never be like the past.

Good or Bad.. that's the way it is.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterrdf

All I can say is Charlize better wear a fabulous dress.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Having Tina Fey and Amy Poehler present Oscars and not THE Oscars is just cruel.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterScott

Trevor Noah. You know they wanted John Stewart.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

But I want Streep and Nicholson! In the front row and presenting Best Pic!

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Sarah Paulson at the Oscars! And Constance Wu! I think these choices please me the most but lots of good picks (Poehler, Fey, Rudolph, McCarthy, Bassett, Yeoh, Theron, Rudd, Luna ❤️❤️)

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterchoog

Barbra Steisand is the last person I want to see on Oscar night!

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrandz

Agree that John Mulaney and Krysten Ritter are strange as presenters if they're going for 'fame', even though I enjoy them both.

Keegan-Michael Key is also a '?' to me, b/c to me his fame level is about the same as Jordan Peele's (maybe slightly less), and having Peele present one or both of the screenplay awards would make so much sense - when you have a celebrity win writing or directing, have them present the next year! This only makes sense if Peele said no due to the many many projects he is working on.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

Serena Williams at the Oscars is as ridiculous as when they had Mark Spitz as a presenter. The Oscars should be about the movies. Williams is not an ordinary person.

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterjaragon

Did Krysten Ritter just nab a high profile role in a movie that we don't know about? Or is she representing Netflix at the Oscars?

February 20, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterSoSue

TBH I don't know who several of those people are. Not a good sign.

February 21, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRob

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