You know the saying, “If you want something done right, do it yourself?” Well, I’ve come to a startling realization. That might apply to hosting the Academy Awards.
As someone who has experienced every Oscars telecast since 1978, I’ve watched in despair as the show has dramatically declined in recent years. Glorious hosts like Bob Hope, Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal have been replaced with the likes of James Franco, Seth MacFarlane and Neil Patrick Harris. And with all due respect, they just haven’t been funny.
It isn’t their fault. They and their writers just didn’t get it. The most important job of the Oscars emcee is to break the ice at the beginning of the show – by making the nervous nominees laugh before the awards are presented. Get the audience rolling – and you’re on a roll.
It isn’t that difficult, either. The Academy Awards is a virtual comedy goldmine – as long as you know the movies and Oscar history, and are reasonably familiar with current affairs.
With that said, I’m ready to do the job that everyone else in Hollywood has apparently turned down.
So Academy – please let me host the upcoming Oscars myself. Here is my opening monologue. Just picture the stars shrieking as I satirically (yet smilingly) serve them one by one. And I have much more material to use in between awards.
Best of all, I can announce the official Gold Derby odds before each winner is revealed. (I’m sure that Rami Malek is just dying to thank me.)
1. Good evening and welcome to the Academy Awards. Or as Glenn Close likes to call it, “Another One Bites the Dust.”
2. Tonight, we celebrate the best films of 2018. And what a year it was. Movies covered everything from show business to super heroes to politics. There were tiny independents and box office smashes. Some were based on real people and actual events, while others featured truly twisted and shocking storylines. And that’s just the documentaries.
3. One of the biggest successes of the year has got to be “A Star Is Born.” Or as insiders refer to it, “A Star is Born – Again.” When Bradley Cooper first pitched the project, everyone in Hollywood told him not to do it. That it was a big mistake. That it would ruin his career. Of course, that’s because he had cast himself in the Streisand role. (Why do you think he grew out his hair?) Just think: Bradley Cooper was this close to becoming “Brabs.”
4. Fortunately, he found someone else for that part. A little-known actress by the name of Lady Gaga. She’s done a few songs and has dabbled in TV, so you might have heard of her.
5. Actually, Lady Gaga wanted to be an actress before she became a singer. So you know what that means? The number one hits…the platinum records…the Grammy Awards…that was all just her back-up plan. Good for you, Stefani. It’s nice to see that your dreams are finally coming true.
6, And Bradley – just one more thing. If Lady Gaga wins and you don’t – please just stay in your seat. This is one time where nobody wants to see life imitating art. (And hope you’re wearing Depends.)
7. Another of the year’s most acclaimed films is the Spanish language “Roma.” Alfonso Cuarón could win as many as four Academy Awards just for himself. Best Picture. Best Foreign Language Film. Best Cinematography. And the category now known as “Best Mexican Director.”
8. That’s right. Last year it was Guillermo del Toro. A few years earlier, it was Alejandro Iñárritu – twice. Before that, it was Alfonso again. See, this is Hollywood’s biggest fear about illegal immigration. That they’ll come into this country and win all of our Oscars. Even Warren Beatty was recently quoted as saying, “Maybe that wall isn’t such a bad idea.”
9. Peter Farrelly, one of the masterminds behind “Dumb and Dumber,” is here tonight. He’s part of the producing team of Best Picture nominee “Green Book.” The working title was “There’s Something About Mahershala.”
10. In the film, Viggo Mortensen drives Mahersha Ali on a concert tour in the segregated south. It’s Viggo’s most perilous road trip since “The Lord of the Rings.” But hey – at least it pays better than working for Uber.
11. Rami Malek is a first-timer at the Academy Awards. What an incredible year he had. He played Freddie Mercury in the smash “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He also took on Dustin Hoffman’s role in the remake of “Papillon.” Just think – he stepped into the shoes of two of the twentieth century’s biggest drama queens.
12. If Rami wants to win Best Actor, he’s going to have to get past “Batman.” Or should I say, “fatman.” Christian Bale is nominated for his portrayal of former Vice President Cheney. What an incredible transformation. Congratulations, Christian. You really turned into a big Dick.
13. Christian is well-known for immersing himself in his characters. During an outing with the cast of “Vice,” he accidentally shot Steve Carell. His excuse? They had just finished a screening of “Welcome to Marwen.”
14. Also here from “Vice” is last year’s Best Supporting Actor, Sam Rockwell. You might say that he’s seeking a second term. But in all likelihood, this will mark the third time that Hollywood has voted against George W. Bush.
15. “BlacKkKlansman” is up for seven Academy Awards. It’s about a black man who infiltrates an all-white organization. It’s also based on a true story: when Spike Lee joined the Academy after “Do the Right Thing.”
16. For the first time in history, a comic book movie is nominated for Best Picture. Before “Black Panther,” most of you thought Wakanda was located somewhere between Tarzana and Rancho Cucamonga.
17. Turning to the Best Actress category, all eyes are on seven-time contender Glenn Close in “The Wife.” Talk about a performance. So much emotion. So much drama. It was sheer brilliance. But enough about her Golden Globe acceptance speech.
18. Between 1983 and 1989, Glenn saw five Oscar nominations but not a single win. She actually lost more times in the Eighties than the Democrats. Heck, she had to sit there and watch a Dukakis accept an Academy Award.
19. Also in the Best Actress category is Melissa McCarthy, asking the question “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Melissa – I’m not going to lie to you. “The Happytime Murders” makes it hard. But win or lose – you’ll always be a “Bridesmaid” to us.
20. The star of “Roma,” Yalitza Aparicio, is a Best Actress nominee for her film debut. She’s actually a teacher by training. She applied to be an on-set tutor but was told that the job was filled. It’s a good thing she asked “Tienes algo mas?”
21. It was a strong year for LGBTQ roles in cinema – most of which were played by Rachel Weisz. In “The Favourite,” she’s lovers with Olivia Colman. In “Disobedience,” she’s lovers with Rachel McAdams. The last time Rachel Weisz was with a man under the sheets in a film, it was “The Mummy.”
22. Nominated for Best Supporting Actress alongside Rachel is her “Favourite” costar Emma Stone. She’s an American playing a British commoner who tries to win over the Queen. Kind of like Meghan Markle on her first visit to Buckingham Palace.
23. With so many great pictures this year, a number of excellent films were shut out. Like “Crazy Rich Asians” – not up for a single Oscar. This despite a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes. A 74 on Metacritic. And a 1580 composite score on the SAT.
24. A reminder to all of the lucky winners – you only get 90 seconds from the moment that your name is called. The only way to get more time is by proposing marriage to a member of the audience. For your convenience, we’ve seated Jennifer Lopez right in the front row.
25. It’s time to start presenting the awards. I’ll leave you with a wise saying – a philosophy that the all of us at Gold Derby live our lives by. Good thoughts. Good words. Good deeds. Good predictions. Good luck, everyone.
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on February 24.