The wonderful Ellen DeGeneres returned to host the Oscars last night, and for a year full of so many depressing movies, there were still a few moments of humor amid an otherwise solemn film affair. Watch Ellen's Oscars monologue above then click through for a few of her best jokes and audience interactions along with comedy's best moment of the night, which came through an unplanned shout-out to the late Harold Ramis by his collaborator Bill Murray.
Seth MacFarlane's performance as Oscars host this year drew a mixed response, but the ceremony got big ratings. It was reported last month that he had been asked to return to host the awards in 2014, but MacFarlane revealed today on Twitter that he said no to the opportunity. "Traumatized critics exhale: I'm unable to do the Oscars again. Tried to make it work schedule-wise, but I need sleep," MacFarlane wrote. He added, "However, I highly recommend the job, as [Craig] Zadan and [Neil] Meron are two of the most talented producers in the business. My suggestion for host is Joaquin Phoenix." Don't get your hopes up, [...]
"You could argue that Sean Penn didn't deserve the Oscar for that movie [Mystic River], but he probably did for a couple of others that he didn't get. [Laughs]. That’s the way it goes. He did some amazing jobs, like Dead Man Walking, and he didn't get the notice. So then he got it that time, and it’s like, I didn't get it, so what are you going to do? Someone said, 'What do you think about this,' and I said, 'Well, I think it's going to be a regular thing. I think I'm going to get nominated every 25 years so.' [Laughs]. I can yuk about it a little bit."
Last Night the LA Times reported that Jimmy Fallon was in talks to host and Lorne Michaels was in talks to produce the Academy Awards. This would've been great, if it were true, which is still up in the air. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) ultimately chooses who hosts and produces the Oscars but the Oscars are on ABC, so ABC and Disney get to have a say in that matter. ABC/Disney was none to pleased with the idea of giving the job to the host of a rival's late night show. "When the idea came up of Fallon, we made it clear that we were not [...]
Academy Awards producer Brian Grazer has announced that Sacha Baron Cohen will be on the red carpet dressed as General Aladeen from The Dictator, but he will be "part of the show… as himself." It's a surprisingly civil compromise, considering that just this morning, "Aladeen" was threatening the Academy with "unforeseen and unimaginable consequences." But at the end of the day, everyone involved got exactly what they wanted: lots of free publicity. And that's what's most important.
The Honorary Oscars were handed out over the weekend at the 2013 Governors Awards, and Steve Martin received an Academy Honorary Award, which recognizes "extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement, exceptional contributions to the state of motion picture arts and sciences, or for outstanding service to the Academy." His speech is as funny and sweet as you'd expect from Martin. Below, check out tributes to Martin from Tom Hanks, Martin Short, and Bill Taylor.
The Academy just released their Oscar nominations, recognizing the best in film from 2012, and the list of pretty light on comedies this time around. Silver Linings Playbook, director David O. Russell's romantic comedy-drama was the only comedy-ish film to receive a lot of recognition (although there are plenty of laughs in non-comedy Best Picture nominees Django Unchained and Argo). Silver Linings was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director (Russell), Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Supporting Actor (Robert DeNiro), Best Supporting Actress (Jacki Weaver), and Best Adapted Screenplay (David O. Russell). Moonrise Kingdom, which was a contender for a Best Picture nomination, was snubbed, only [...]
The Wrap reports that The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has announced its list of contenders for its Animated Short Oscar, and amongst the 10 films is "Maggie Simpson in 'The Longest Daycare,'" a 3D animated Simpsons short that was shown prior to screenings of Ice Age 4 this summer. The four-and-a-half minute short was written by Simpsons masterminds Matt Groening, James L. Brooks, Al Jean, David Mirkin, Joel H. Cohen, and Michael Price, directed by David Silverman, and involves Maggie in conflict with her nemesis, unibrowed baby Gerald, at a daycare. This is a chance for Oscar redemption for The Simpsons. The Simpsons Movie was shut out of the Best Animated Feature category in 2008, [...]
This monologue from the Independent Spirits Award is just the kind of thing the Academy Awards need. Fewer vague gestures of respect towards the history of film; more marveling at Harvey Keitel's enormous bush in Bad Lieutenant. Fewer mirthless, obligatory shout-outs or meanspirited digs; more telling it like it is re: Brett Ratner. More acknowledgment of the inherent weirdness of awards ceremonies. More self-deprecation. More Seth Rogen.
Well, the Oscars are this Sunday and it's starting to look like Bridesmaids really isn't going to get that surprise last-minute Best Picture nomination we were all counting on. So the New York Times has put together a thorough examination of why the Academy continually snubs comedies when it comes to the night's highest honor. In addition to great clips from some of the funniest movies of the past century, the debate includes sentences like this one: "Comedy by its very nature is a mirror into the unruly, anarchic soul lurking behind the monocle." The New York Times on poop jokes, ladies and gentlemen.
Everybody knows Billy Crystal even if you can't recall exactly where you know him from. From the first season of SNL through hosting nine (yep, nine!) Academy Awards ceremonies, Crystal has undoubtedly left his mark in entertainment history. But… where is he now? Just as he turns 65, Crystal, along with the rest of the baby boomer generation, is facing the inevitable consequences of growing old. With his witty and equally earnest tone, Billy looks back on the milestones of his life in comedy, his friendships with icons like Mickey Mantel and Muhammed Ali, as well as the challenges that come with falling into the Medicare bracket. Check out where [...]
The Oscars have historically been an awards show that doesn't give comedy its proper due, but last year, things looked like they were starting to change, with Bridesmaids receiving two nominations (Best Supporting Actress for Melissa McCarthy and Best Original Screenplay for Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo), Jonah Hill scoring a Best Supporting Actor nom for his turn in the drama Moneyball, Flight of the Conchords' Bret McKenzie winning an Academy Award for his song "Man or Muppet" from Jason Segel's Muppets movie, and Nat Faxon and Jim Rash winning a screenwriting Oscar for The Descendants. This time around, it doesn't look like comedies and comedians will do quite as well [...]
"[Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are] really a smart and wonderful choice. It's a coup against the academy, who hates us."
- Hollywood Foreign Press Association member H.J. Park to The LA Times in one of two pieces today about how enlisting Fey and Poehler as Golden Globes hosts is just the latest conquest in a long-running war between the HFPA's Golden Globes and the Academy Awards, who pulled off a less-heroic feat by recruiting Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane to host. It's like a real war, only the winner just gets more TV ratings.
Awards, shmazords. The biggest thing you missed by falling asleep at 8:30 last night instead of watching the Oscars was Sacha Baron Cohen delivering on his promise of red carpet Dictator-ship and pouring the ashes of Kim Jong Il all over a clearly unhappy Ryan Seacrest. General Aladeen gets a bit of ash on his own feet, too, but luckily his socks were inexpensive.
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