Thursday, February 08, 2007

We Miss Steve Martin

The Oscar telecast is something that one must endure if one expects to have any kind of pop-culture cred. But it is oftentimes a ritual as empty as sex is when the oxygen is gone from out of a relationship. Yeah, it's okay (we suppose), ... but there no ..., ehr, papazao! Youknowwhatwemean (The Corsair lights a Cohiba)?

Actually, we haven't really enjoyed an Oscar show's since Steve Martin. It's been a while since an Oscar telecast compelled us into a comedy "O-face," or, at the very least, inspired awe at the writing or the execution of comedy (Sorry, Jon Stewart). And From Joshua Rich of Popwatch:

"...A teensy little part of my pop cultural soul died when I read this behind-the-pre-Oscars-scene Associated Press story today. It's an illuminating piece overall, but in some ways I rather it didn't shine light on the fact that few other changes will be taking place this year. Chief among the same-old-same-oldness is the return of head writer Bruce Vilanch … for a 16th time. He's quoted as saying, "It's the same show every year. It has to fall into a certain kind of format." Oy. I mean, OY! Now, even though he went to Ohio State, Vilanch seems like a nice guy — he was super funny on Hollywood Squares — and he's got an incredibly tough job writing all the jokes for the Oscars show, something that few people can do. But, more than anything else Oscars-wise, the skits and un-funny banter between presenters have grown stale in recent years. It's time, I say, for something new."

"But what, exactly? Perhaps they should bring back the Daily Show brain trust. Heck, even the Tonight Show writers would do. Or maybe they should just scrap the whole idea of having the show be funny altogether. I mean, the jokes are never good, they waste time, they're not memorable, and they are usually omitted when the show starts going long, anyway."

You know Oscars are navigating shark-jumping waters when the outfits get more press real estate than the jokes. No offense to Ellen, a perfectly fine performer, but we are not expecting comedic fireworks. And, considering the magnitude of the venue and the plethora of choices, we should.

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