This would be one of the least surprising choices the Academy could make. Apparently charismatic funny man Jimmy Fallon is in talks to host next year's Oscars ceremony, but there's major network and Academy drama that could stop it from happening. The L.A. Times first reported on the discussions to bring Fallon in as a host, but as they note Fallon is currently an employee of NBC and the Oscars are broadcast by ABC. Why does that matter? Well, ABC has a late night talk show that goes head-to-head with Fallon's and it's hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, but he's contracted to host next year's Emmy awards! And it's a faux pas to host them both in the same year, or something. Fallon already hosted the Emmys in 2010 to generally favorable reviews. He laughed at his own jokes, didn't say anything too controversial, and his personality is infectious. He was put on the earth to do this kind of stuff, but some people won't let him. So that's a dilemma.
The Oscars are put on by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences so the Academy can do what it wants and it doesn't really matter what ABC thinks, but there's some drama within the Academy, too. The discussions with Fallon were started by ex-Academy President Tom Sherak, but his term ended last week and Hawk Koch (yes, his real name) is the new President. Sherak told the Times he was assigned to close the deal two months ago despite knowing his term as president was ending. "I couldn't meet that deadline, so I stopped all negotiations," he said. He didn't confirm Fallon was the guy he was talking to. Deadline's Nikki Finke reports negotiations with Fallon are dead in the water right now, but the Times' report brings up an interesting point. Lorne Michaels, godfather of NBC's Saturday Night Live, was in talks to produce the show because "comedy was a priority," for next year's telecast. As the Times point out, Koch and Michaels have a history together. Koch served as an executive producer for the two Wayne's World movies during the early 90s. Koch is on his own hunt for a host and producer now, but no one knows where he'll end up. He told Finke he wants to skew younger, which means Fallon would probably be one of the best choices all things considered. He's as safe as Billy Crystal but way less wrinkly.