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Who should host the 2011 Tony Awards?

November 23, 2010 | 12:43 pm

Times Square
Yes, it’s only November and the Tony Awards are still months away. But people are already buzzing about who should host Broadway’s biggest night.

 You can thank (or blame) “Modern Family’s” Jesse Tyler Ferguson for that. The Emmy-nominated actor recently offered up his services as Tonys host via Twitter in response to a news Tweet announcing the broadcast time and date (that would be June 12 on CBS). Then, in a Q&A with the New York Post, Ferguson made his big pitch:

"I never thought I would be, but thanks to "Modern Family" I’m in a place where I might actually bring viewers to the Tony Awards that might not necessarily tune in otherwise -– which is awesome. I could use my power for good. But at my core, I’m a song and dance man. It’s what I feel most comfortable doing. That’s where my roots are, that’s my first love, it’s my home. I’ve also never been nominated for a Tony, so I think it would also fill that void of being on that stage by myself with that community of people [laughs]. Basically, everything Neil Patrick Harris does I want to do."

JesseFerguson, theatergoers know, is no stranger to the boards. He appeared on Broadway in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” (as Leaf Coneybear, the kid with the cape) after making his Broadway debut in 1998 in a revival of “On the Town.” And last summer, Ferguson appeared in the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production of “The Merchant of Venice” alongside Al Pacino. He even did some flash mob dancing on last week's episode of the ABC comedy.

Now, Culture Monster is without a doubt a fan of “Modern Family” and of Ferguson, but let's consider some of the other names popping up. The in-the-know chatters over at Talkin’ Broadway had other ideas, starting with Paul Ruebens, a.k.a. Pee-Wee Herman, whose “Pee-Wee Herman Show” is playing a limited run at the newly dubbed Sondheim Theatre. Other suggestions? Rosie O’Donnell, who hosted the show in 1997, 1998 and again in 2000; Ellen DeGeneres; “Glee’s” Matthew Morrison; and, of course, Neil Patrick Harris.

So who do you think should host the Tony Awards? Take the poll. And if you don’t like the choices, throw in a name or two of your own in the comments below.

--Lisa Fung

Photos: Times Square in New York/AP. "Modern Family"/Twentieth Century Fox.