TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — And The Oscar (for Hosting) Goes To …

The 88th annual Academy Awards presentation is coming up. I look forward to it every year. For me, it marks the beginning of the end of winter. Or, at least, the beginning of the last half of winter — or something.

I enjoy the Oscars, not because I’m so into movies or rich people handing over awards to other rich people. And I certainly could care less about clothes that cost as much as my first house.

I collect Oscar hosts, those brave men (and occasional women) who have the unenviable task of facing something like a billion television viewers worldwide. Yes, that’s billion with a b.

Johnny Carson was a very good Oscar host. Of course, Johnny Carson was very good at everything he did on television.

Hell, I’m even old enough to remember Bob Hope as host. Hope, or more likely one of his writers, is responsible for what may be the single best Oscar joke ever. In my humble opinion, of course.

Hope, who never won an Oscar himself for any of his many film roles, would say something like this. “Welcome to the Academy Awards. Or, as we call them at our house, Passover.” Pretty darn good. If memory serves me correctly, he used the line several different years. Why not?

David Letterman was so disappointed in his own performance as Oscar host one year he couldn’t get out of town and back to New York fast enough. For what it’s worth, I could never understand why he felt that way.

Nothing like the year James Franco and Anne Hathaway co-hosted. It was painful to watch. For me, physically painful. Enough said.

For many of us, the gold standard of Oscar hosts is, and may always be, Billy Crystal. His Oscar night monologues are the stuff legends are made of. His opening song and dance numbers are legendary. Even his Oscar night stage entrances are legendary.

Crystal has said he would spend as much as six months preparing for Oscar night each year. How many months he feels the stress of the Oscar work has taken off his life I don’t believe he has ever said.

This year, the elephant in the Dolby Theater will be diversity. This year not a single nomination in a major category went to an actor or actress who is not —how shall I put this — white.

There have been calls for a boycott. It’s all something this year’s host Jamie Foxx will have to contend with, probably in his opening joke. As I said at the top, an unenviable task.

I, for one, will be pulling for him.

One thought on “TERRY DULLUM: The Dullum File — And The Oscar (for Hosting) Goes To …”

  • Helen Murphy February 10, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    I thought Chris Rock was hosting or did he decide to boycot too? It may be that people of color did not have a chance to show their talent in good roles but something is going on. I still think the newest Star Wars movie should have had more nominations or get some kind of recognition. You are right about Johnny Carson, Bob Hope and Billy Crystal stealing the show. Either way I plan to watch.


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