Tag Archives: Daily Show

…and now, The Oscars

Finally, the big daddy of the back-patting events is upon us.

Tonight’s Oscar hosts are James Franco and Anne Hathaway, as the industry makes an obvious ploy to skew younger. That sentiment probably won’t carry over into the actual voting, where veteran actors who might have been bypassed earlier in their careers get rewarded at the expense of a newcomer who has his whole career ahead of him. Really…Al Pacino won for Scent Of A Woman? Paul Newman won for The Color Of Money?

And sometimes this screws over a more deserving veteran actor. Yes, I’m talking to you, Henry Fonda! No way Burt Lancaster shouldn’t have won in 1981 for his amazing performance in Atlantic City!)

But I digress. The Oscar host thing has always been a conundrum. Bob Hope owned the role for years, as did Johnny CarsonBilly Crystal did it well and got to keep the job for a while, seemingly alternating every couple of years with Steve Martin and Whoopi Goldberg. But lately it’s been as volatile and unpredictable as a Charlie Sheen alibi; the only repeat host in the last ten years was Jon Stewart in 2006 and 2008 (Steve Martin hosted in 2003 but co-hosted in 2010). Stewart was excellent, but has the grind of his Daily Show schedule. But Wolverine Hugh Jackman was incredibly game and entertaining and got raves for his stint, yet wasn’t asked to repeat?

Perhaps tonight will be fine; Franco is a likeable guy, and Hathaway proved she is as fearless as she is talented when she joined Jackman onstage a few years ago. But for the self-proclaimed “Hollywood’s Biggest Night“, one would expect a real game-changer at the helm. And as afraid of him as they obviously are, I think any awards show not hiring Ricky Gervais is settling.

Here is the list of nominees.

I’m pretty much sticking with the picks I made right after the nominations came out, although The King’s Speech has picked up incredible momentum since then, along with Geoffrey Rush. But I have a feeling that the Darren Aronofsky magic touch will again become the Darren Aronofsky curse; Mickey Rourke lost to more established Hollywood veteran Sean Penn, and Annette Bening has never won for Best Actress despite four nominations. (No truth to the rumor that Natalie Portman got pregnant to sway the sympathy vote.) I also wouldn’t bet my life on Supporting Actress, as this is a category where teenagers can and do win, especially when they are playing more of a lead role.

My predictions for tonight’s winners:

Best Picture: The Social Network
Best Director: David Fincher, The Social Network
Best Actor: Colin Firth, The King’s Speech
Best Actress: Annette Bening, The Kids Are Alright
Best Supporting Actor: Christian Bale, The Fighter
Best Supporting Actress: Melissa Leo, The Fighter
Best Adapted Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin, The Social Network
Best Original Screenplay: Christopher Nolan, Inception
Best Cinematography: Wally Pfister, Inception
Best Score: Trent Reznor, The Social Network

While you await tonight’s ceremony here are some treats to pass the time:

Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter act out the Best Picture nominees

Ricky Gervais wrote an opening script for Franco and Hathaway

You can bet on anything – even the In Memorium montage.

Racetrack odds on tonight’s favorites to Win…Place and Show mean nothing!

***

Tomorrow: The winners, the losers, the analysis.

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T.G.I.F. – Ten Comic Clips

We’re a little more than halfway through the fourteenth season of Comedy Central Presents; this year two new episodes are aired every Friday night at 11:00pm and 11:30pm Eastern Time. There have been a few minor changes from previous seasons, but the channel remains committed to putting fresh comedy out there on a frequent basis, and for that they should be applauded.

Gone are the (usually) elaborate backdrops and sets, which usually added some flavor to the event; in its place the comic’s name is smeared across the upstage scrim so that the feeble-minded among us can remember who we are watching. This in turn allows the comic a graceful exit instead of stopping by their small marquee sign by the stage right curtain to do the obligatory turn and wave so their name is visible in the background. (One would hope that the patrons seeing the show live could simply stare at their ticket stub whenever the need arose).

So maybe that saves them a few bucks, or maybe last-minute negotiations with the set designer went horribly awry and they decided to wing it; either way it’s no big deal. What does matter is who is in front of that curtain and what they do. In 2010 we’ve gotten a good sampling of talent; it’s been great to see some of the up and comers get their shot.

Here is the list of Season 14 performers.

So as I get ready to strap myself in again this week, I thought it only appropriate to present Ten Comic Clips from the season 14 performers. Like any year its been hit and miss, but there have been a couple of standouts so far – and there are some great names yet to come. So in totally random order

* Rory Albanese is yet another writer from the Daily Show factory. Classic old-school look and delivery.

* Jon Lajoie was very strong. I usually get bored by comedians who play music – I get the puppet gag reflex – but he’s an exception. “Regular Everyday Normal Guy” is a classic.

* Amy Schumer totally knocked it out of the park with her set. Excellent timing and a twisted mind behind that very pretty face.

* Pete Holmes (no relation) does exasperation really well; I’ve never seen a set of his I didn’t like.

* The Sklar Brothers were pretty good; the material was decent on its own but when they act out scenes between them it’s far funnier. Closing with the Diceman bit was huge.

* Rob Riggle had a decent set, but I’ve seen him do better (like his small scene in The Hangover), but in fairness I did have the bar set way high for him.

* Myq Kaplan is scheduled for the end of April; his album Vegan Mind Meld is out this month. Great wordplay – maybe the best since Mitch Hedberg.

* Rachel Feinstein knows that a forward lunge is never attractive. Great voices and physicality to back up strong material.

* Jon Dore was phenomenal! Great set-ups that he twists into something dark and sick, and even when you know something is coming, he gets you anyway. With Schumer, the show of the season so far.

* Matt Braunger is on tonight; I reviewed his album a while back. His material is great, his energy is amazing, and he’s fast becoming one of my favorite comics.

Click here to see the list of every CCP special.

Comedy Central website

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Filed under Comedy, Features and Interviews