The Academy Awards happened last night and much comedy ensued. Or not exactly. But Kambri Crews was nice enough to throw a viewing party at Comix for the night, with her hubby Christian Finnegan hosting. Finnegan noted that the Academy Awards writing staff reached out to several comedians, asking them to submit potential jokes for host Jon Stewart to use in his monologue or later during the ceremony. Here, he reads from a few of his suggestions:
Leo Allen made an appearance just before the Oscars got rolling, but Allen didn't stay long after Jon Stewart's monologue, long enough to see none of his jokes got selected but not long enough to see the cameras cut to Allen's comedy partner, Eric Slovin, who had a choice seat behind Best Actress winner Marion Cotillard. How'd he get that seat? As the New York Times might report, anonymous aides thought Slovin's relationship with Best Supporting Actress nominee Amy Ryan might be appropriate. Todd Barry stuck around for the entire ceremony, thought Stewart did a good hosting job, and thoughtfully offered to let me finish his order of Chicken Tender is the Night. That's right. Kambri Crews and the Comix crew had a special menu with new movie names. Among the nods to 2008 nominees: I Eat Your Flank Steak, Banana Cake Blanchett, Juno & Tonic, There Will Be Bloody Marys, No Cosmo For Old Men.
Stewart did well enough, I suppose. A few lame jokes (Harrison Ford, a car dealership?). A few really solid ones -- really enjoyed the line about the Vanity Fair post-Oscar bash. "If you really wanted to show respect for the writers, you could try inviting a few of them to the Vanity Fair Oscar party," or something to that effect. I could look it up for the verbatim (and may well do that). Stewart's nicest touch of the night: Bringing the co-winner for Best Original Song from Once back onstage after a commercial break to let her give her acceptance speech, and then delivering a speech that was worth it.
By the way, here's a fun fact, at least for me and the Oscars: My tenure at the New York Daily News may have been brief, but it did allow me the opportunity to cover the "red carpet" (actually, indoors and hardwood floors) for the New York Film Festival screening of No Country For Old Men, since all of the gossips were out of town or off the clock that night. Which meant I got a few minutes with Javier Bardem, the Coen brothers, Josh Brolin and Kelly MacDonald. All very nice. The Coens really didn't want to talk (surprise!), even when I asked them about the film they were currently shooting in my neighborhood with George Clooney and Brad Pitt.