Tina Fey, Hugh Jackman, Sandra Bullock and...Chris O'Dowd?
One of the more unlikely ideas on our list is Irish comedian Chris O'Dowd, who only recently became familiar to mainstream America through his role in last year's hit comedy "Bridesmaids." Of course, his relative "unknown" status is likely what would bar him from being offered the gig - indeed, they've never hired a host with such a low-profile. Still, the Academy has done "out of the box" before - a la Jon Stewart and Chris Rock - and while the results of those experiments haven't exactly produced stellar results (remember the disastrous hosting debacle that was James Franco and Anne Hathaway?), I also doubt they've let go of wanting to improve their stodgy image quite yet. It's also worth mentioning that O'Dowd gave a hugely well-received, live-wire hosting performance at last year's British Independent Film Awards, which, while a much smaller ceremony, proved he could handle the rigors of the job and actually be funny while doing it. And hey, you want esteem? He had a walk-on role in "Vera Drake"!
- Chris Eggertsen