Now that Whoopi Goldberg is history, Lisa Schwarzbaum reveals who would make the perfect emcee

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated March 23, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Who should host next year’s Oscars?

If you?re going to host the Oscar telecast, it helps to develop some shtick. Whoopi Goldberg got into costume. Billy Crystal sang a medley. David Letterman introduced Uma to Oprah. Johnny Carson did a Hollywood-insider monologue. I don?t know what the brain trust at the Academy and ABC have in mind for next year?s millennium telecast, but I?ve got a couple of candidates for the search committee, each of whom might enliven those long, dead hours between the early-in-the-evening Best Supporting Actor award and the late-at-night Best Picture finale when a bunch of loquacious, unrecognizable producers thank their subordinates and tell their kids to go to bed.

Rosie O?Donnell She?s already boosted theater-going, she knows her movie trivia, and she wouldn?t be afraid to tell Celine Dion, ”Hey, honey, what?s with the white Robin Hood chapeau?”

Jim Carrey He?d make the Oscars the most-watched event in the history of television, especially if he lets his butt-cheeks do the talking when Jack Valenti gets too chatty.

Tina Brown True, her association with Miramax may be a conflict of interest, but it?s nothing Harvey Weinstein can?t finesse. Besides, the British editor has irrevocably changed the quality of ”buzz” surrounding celebrity journalism; maybe she can glamorize all those tedious technical awards, too.

Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer ABC brought the duo in to rescue ”Good Morning America.” The least the coanchors can do is use their clout to make sure Debbie Allen never choreographs a Holocaust hoedown again.

Uma and Oprah Letterman was on to something. Uma would appeal to the young and stylish and anyone who never saw her in ”Henry and June.” Oprah would wear the mantle of greatness and convince viewers that watching the Oscars will change their life for the better.

Jerry Seinfeld He?s unemployed and available. He?d tell Roberto Benigni, in the nicest possible way, not to squeeze everyone in the audience. And Jerry, more than most, understands the concept of ”nothing,” on which Academy voters apparently base their choices.