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Barbara Walters' Oscar special: Who should take over?

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Barbara Walters just announced that she’s ending her Oscars special after this year. Hubbawha? That show is an institution! A rickety, kinda hokey institution! But as much as I enjoy a good old couch-and-cry with Barbara Walters, the truth is, by the time her special airs we’ve seen the nominees on Oprah, Ellen, The View, and the late-night shows; we’ve seen them do red carpet interviews at the 900 non-Oscar awards shows. It’s time to shake things up a little.

That’s why I’d love to see James Lipton host an Inside the Actors Studio pre-Oscars special from here on out. Come for the effusive praise, stay for the crazyeyes! People say the darndest things on that show, plus Lipton often asks to “speak” to characters, which always blows my mind. I wouldn’t mind a Conan O’Brien-hosted special, either: Walters’ interviews lack any sense of irony and mischief, which is fine because she’s a newswoman, but it makes for some stale-ass television. O’Brien’s heart pretty much pumps goofiness.

My pie-in-the-sky wish, though, is for a Colbert Report special: Stephen Colbert‘s ability to satirize self-importance and ceremony is usually applied to political grandeur, but there’s no reason it couldn’t be aimed at Hollywood.

Get out your wish-o-trons, PopWatchers: What would make a perfect pre-Oscars show? A moderated panel in which the gilded celebs are forced to talk near each other? A Festivus-influenced feats of strength demonstration? Or should we just let Elisabeth Hasselbeck take over the special?

Image credit: Craig Sjodin/ABC