Meryl Streep at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2011: Will she return as a presenter this year? (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

But after years of observing the producers’ picks, we can attempt some purely speculative educated guesses about who might turn out to pay tribute.

Oprah: What are the odds she comes back? (Linda Davidson/The Washington Post)

• For Hoffman: High-profile co-stars Meryl Streep (“Kramer vs. Kramer”) and Robert Redford (“All the President’s Men”) are past honorees, a cohort the KenCen often taps to return the favor.

• For Letterman: His good pal and ’07 honoree Steve Martin is a good bet. Or Jon Stewart, who paid tribute to Springsteen here in ’09. Or — this would be delicious — 2010 honoree Oprah Winfrey.

Dave Grohl and wife Jordyn at the Kennedy Center honorees in 2010. (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

• For Led Zeppelin: British peers like Daltrey/Townshend or Paul McCartney are tough to book. But grunge god Dave Grohl has graced the Honors before and might agree to salute his forebears.

(Video link: Steve Martin congratulations Letterman on Kennedy Center Honors)

Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to Mikhail Baryshnikov as a potential future Kennedy Center honoree. He received the honor in 2000.

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