Compare Billy Crystal's Oscar Opening And Seth Rogen's Indie Spirit Monologue
If you compared the list of winners from The Independent Spirit Awards and the 84th Annual Academy Awards you would see a lot of similarities. And a lot of French. But that's pretty much where the similarities between the shows, especially when talking about the hosts.
Of course, the better-safe-than-sorry-approach that the Oscars took lead to the milquetoast ceremony we all watched last night (even if it seemed faster than usual, mostly because the speeches were shorter and more enjoyable), but the Spirit Awards let Seth Rogen loose and the result was an opening monologue (and ensuing ceremony) that was actually very funny...if you pardoned his French. Watch the very different award show openings below.
To be fair, one ceremony is geared to air on IFC - where pretty much anything goes - and the other is broadcast on ABC and, well, it's network television so nothing goes without somebody's say so (even if a supposed nipple slipped) but still, Crystal's ninth opening was basically a copy and paste job (video via THR).
After the signature montage of Crystal being inserted into the year's nominees (which for some reason also included non-nominated films), he even admitted something like, 'what, you didn't think I wasn't going to do this did ya?' as he broke into his other signature move: the Best Picture song and dance. Pretty uninspired but hey, after the whole Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy thing, I don't particularly blame them for going safe. Besides, I'm sure my parents loved Billy.
Speaking of Ratner, he was a target for Seth Rogen during his opening monologue which was pretty much the exact opposite of the Academy Award opening. It was simple, off the cuff, a little bit edgy and ultimately pretty funny. Rogen did a great job of just being relaxed and delivering a mix of funny bits directed at easy (but Oscar taboo) targets as well as some laughs at the expense of himself and the Spirits.
It didn't go off without a hitch, but the venue combined with Rogen's affable style and quick wit (not to mention experience as a stand-up comic) allowed him to roll with the punches and turn even the crickets into laughs. I would tell the Academy to take note and perhaps look to Rogen to host in the future but until they hire new writers and adopt a new 'not so scared to offend' philosophy, all the hosting advice in the world won't matter.
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