February 9, 2005

Cracking the code words

Interesting lede on a wire story about the Oscar ceremony: "The 77th Academy Awards, which broke from tradition by selecting comic Chris Rock as this year's host, is shaking things up a bit more by varying the way the awards will be presented."

Hmm, what tradition would that be? The Oscars have certainly had comics as hosts in the past. Oh, I know: this time, they got someone funny.

Update: Why yes, this post does make no sense at all. See the comments if you haven't already figured out why.

Update 2: As long as we're talking about ways to shake up the format, here's my 2 cents: tell winners they can talk as long as they want, but they can't thank more than three people. Face it, no matter how glamorous a movie star is, no one is interesting when they're entire speech is a laundry list of co-stars, agents, and producers. Three people -- including "the Academy" and family members, and spend the rest of your time saying something interesting if you have anything interesting to say.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


Has there ever been an under-40 host before?

Well, Rock just turned 40 himself, and Jerry Lewis was 30 the first time he hosted, while Jack Lemmon was 33. More to the point, I completely forgot then-39 year old Whoopi Goldberg (repression works!), which undermines my snark that the article was really just trying to say they got someone black. So, um, what DOES that lede mean?

From the article I read, they are going to shake things up by awarding some of the statues (think costume design or animation short) to the winners in the audience, rather than have the winner come up on stage, go forbid we give them a moment in the sun, when there's more stitled banter to get to.

Also, for something like Best Actor, they are talking about having all five nominees on stage when they announce the winner, making for some good and uncomfortbale moments, hopefully.

Yeah, that's the "a bit more" stuff. The question is, what do they mean by "broke from tradition by selecting comic Chris Rock..."

Well, traditionally, someone other than Chris Rock hosted the Oscars. My guess is someone writing for the wire service had the same lapse you (and I) did.

I think break from tradition just means breaking free from the Crystal/Goldberg circle of hell, since its his first time. That and bad writing.

But I can't think of two worse changes to be made to the ceremony. "Let's not just disappoint the people who don't win, let's embarass them!" Will Seacrest be there to tell them they're still alive?

And why even invite the other winners, if you're not going to let them get up on stage and thank their friends? Even the technical awards people get to do that. So what if it's not TV, it's better than nothing. One night a year they pay just a tiny bit of attention to people who aren't on camera, but now that's just too much.

Well, maybe they're going to "Jeopardy"-ify the show where you have to guess what the nominees are or something. Yeah, that'd work.

Buckets of Gatorade poured over the winners' heads!

My mind is still reeling from your use of the word "lede" in your first comment. Is that journast-lingo or something? The Hoo live at Leads? Horton Heat Hears a What?

>Is that journast-lingo or something?

Yeah, sorry. Journalists use it when formatting a story so the copy desk knows its supposed to come out before you go to press (as opposed to 'lead,' which, being real word, might slip past). But it's extremely pretentious to use it otherwise. I'd blame it on force of habit, but in fact, I'm just extremely pretentious.

Heh. So finally the title of this post makes sense after all.

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