We’d thank the Academy for these host pairings

By Stacey Harrison

OK, so the consensus seems to be that James Franco and Anne Hathaway pretty much stunk it up as Oscar hosts. Franco harvested the most scorn, with his laid-back dudeness being interpreted as apathy, while Hathaway was given marginal credit for at least trying. (Personally, I was bothered far more by the disembodied voice of what was — I guess — supposed to be Bob Hope speaking to Billy Crystal from beyond the grave.) On top of that, what was seen as a naked grab for greater appeal among a younger, hipper demographic had the opposite effect in the ratings, falling 7% from last year when the show was hosted by old farts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin.

Still, this dual-host thing isn’t likely to go away. So while Franco and Hathaway likely will be restricted to the audience from now on, here’s our suggestion for some pairings that could make for good TV:

Jennifer Aniston & Angelina Jolie

Tune in to see which one would join the annual “In Memoriam” tribute by the end of the night. (Don’t underestimate Jen, folks.) Meanwhile, a Guinness World Record is set for number of times the camera cuts to reaction shots of Brad Pitt.

Randy Quaid & Joaquin Phoenix

Randy: “Boy, you want to convince the world you’re crazy? Let me show you how it’s done.”

Joaquin: “Nice beard.”

Jack Black & Jack White

Just because.

Jay Leno & Conan O’Brien

The main stipulation for this pairing would be that, afterwards, neither man could ever mention the other in comedy bits again. Ever.

Eddie Murphy (1985) & Eddie Murphy (2010)

With some TRON: Legacy-type special effects, you could pull this off. The foulmouthed, hilarious star of Beverly Hills Cop and 48 HRS. is the perfect person to deliver the long-overdue public shaming of the bland, phoning-it-in star of Daddy Day Care and Norbit.

Photo: © 2011 A.M.P.A.S.