After enduring plenty of blowback for choosing Seth MacFarlane to do the job last year, the Academy has changed course and reverted to what might be the safest possible host for next year's Oscars. THR has it that Ellen DeGeneres will host the 2014 Academy Awards, scheduled for Sunday March 2 and airing on ABC.

It will be Ellen's-- come on, don't bother with the last name, we all just call her Ellen-- second time hosting the awards, after taking the stage in 2007 for the awards that honored The Departed and handed Helen Mirren and Forest Whitaker the lead acting Oscars. She was already well into her hugely successful run as a daytime talk show host, but hadn't yet undergone her ill-fated stint as a judge on American Idol, if you're trying to remember where that gig fell on the "Ellen ubiquity" scale. These days she's mainly a warm and cuddly host known for bringing fame to a pair of adorable British sisters and dancing with all of her guests. Again, she's about as far from the controversy-courting MacFarlane as you can possibly imagine.

After years of attempting to bring in younger viewers, from allowing James Franco and Anne Hathaway to take over to that weird Channing Tatum-Daniel Radcliffe dance number thing, the Academy appears to have reverted back to their core audience: older women who just want a few good jokes and the chance to see famous people in fancy clothes. This is by no means a bad thing. In general the harder the Academy tries to look hip and cool, the more ridiculous they get-- check out this "Brightest Young Stars" from the 1988 ceremony to see how Blair Underwood, Patrick Dempsey, Christian Slater and Joely Fisher got dragged into possibly the worst example.

Ellen DeGeneres, an extremely polished professional, stands almost no chance of embarrassing herself or anybody else, and even though what she brings to the stage might be a bit boring, we can all be grateful for that. Revisit her monologue form the 2007 show for a taste of what she'll bring to the stage, and allow a moment of celebration that "We Saw Your Boobs" is definitely not making a comeback next year.

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