I admit to having watched far too many Oscar telecasts for a middle-aged man. But I like movies, and I like live, big time broadcasts where anything can happen. So, I can say with some authority that Sunday night’s Oscar broadcast was ….




The seeds of Sunday’s debacle were planted when Anne Hathaway and James Franco were announced as hosts, in a desperate bid by the Academy to appeal to a younger (i.e. 14-18) demographic. I have no problem with that, but the real standard for hosting shouldn’t be age, but skill. Hathaway and Franco were an unmitigated disaster.

Franco has the look (at least I hope it’s only the look) or a guy who has spend the night smoking up while watching the Academy Awards. I hope that’s not the case, but the guy looks like he’s ready to doze off at any second. Frankly, I wouldn’t let him host a wedding, much less an Academy Awards show.

Anne Hathaway tried to make up for Franco’s complete lack of enthusiasm by showing WAY TOO MUCH ENTHUSIASM. She reminded me of one of those precocious high school girls who joins every club and ends up being valedictorian. And you know how much we hated those kids. Neither one of these two could ad lib a fart at a baked bean supper (and I’m guessing Hathaway has never farted in her life).

Aside from the hosts, the show was seriously disjointed. There were random salutes to things like the first Oscar telecast and Lena Horne (more of a singer than an actress). The only Hollywood giant trotted out was Kirk Douglas, and while I admire his courage, does anybody really want to see such a vital and powerful presence like Douglas looking like your great-grandpa at an old folks home? (If that’s cruel, my apologies. But I was nervous for him.)

And where were the stars? Where was George Clooney? Johnny Depp? Angelina Jolie? Ernest Borgnine? C’mon, guys, step up!

Perhaps the strangest decision of all was to bring out Billy Crystal to introduce a few holographic clips of Bob Hope. Didn’t anyone involved in this show think that highlighting two great old hosts would only make the current hosts look even worse? A lot of people didn’t like Billy Crystal when he was host, and Bob Hope was awfully old school, but Franco and Hathaway made us pine for them… or even Whoopi Goldberg.

What a fiasco. The only thing that save it for me was signing in for comedian Norm MacDonald’s hilarious and profane Twitter feed.

Hey, maybe Norm should be next year’s host.


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