Despite recent rumors that Saturday Night Live alumnus and late-night talk show host Jimmy Fallon would tackle hosting duties for next year’s Oscars, the professional funnyman claims he isn’t accepting the job. During his recent appearance on NBC’s TODAY Show in London, Fallon told host Matt Lauer that he wasn’t accepting the position, though it was certainly an honor to be considered for the spot.
“No, I’m not going to do the Oscars,” Fallon awkwardly explained on the program. “It’s an honor to be asked by the Academy, but it’s not my year.”
Jimmy’s time in England wasn’t all interviews and rumor control. At one point, he was able to attend an Olympic event, which obviously had a profound effect on the comedian.
“I went to an event — I went to track and field,” Fallon said. “It’s unbelievable; it’s thrilling. I’m trying not to cry, to be honest. I’m one of the emotional people. They’re running, they’re pole vaulting for their county and they get up for the medals ceremony. It’s like watching those ASPCA commercials with Sarah McLachlan. I’m just crying my eyes out. I can’t stop crying. I can’t look; I’ve just got to leave.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Fallon’s decision to decline hosting duties may not have been his own. Apparently ABC executives and Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger weren’t too thrilled with the idea, particularly since Fallon is in direct competition with the network’s own late-night darling, Jimmy Kimmel. However, Fallon’s boss, Lorne Michaels, might still be in the running to produce the event.
Brad Adgate, analyst for Horizon Media, believes the decision to go with a younger host is a sign that executives are looking to inject some new blood into the show. “The audience profile of the Oscars is getting older each year and I suppose the Academy Awards [officials] think Fallon will attract more young viewers,” Adgate explained. “Jimmy Kimmel, I am sure, is more preferable to the network.