Smart And Spicy

I Could Host The Oscars


Smart And Spicy I Could Host The OscarsBy Carole Bell It wouldn't be dumb, for one thing. Can you imagine? Picture an intelligent evening. Have you seen the BAFTAs? Impossible to duplicate Stephen Fry's charm, yet that could offer a compass of aspiration. With gracious wit polished cumulatively for over a decade, Fry sets the true black tie standard as he does the British Film And Television Academy proud. Funny enough, Jimmy Kimmel's chance in the barrel was just that – funny enough. Reminiscent of Obama's succinct Hillary characterization, "you're likable *enough* Hillary," it begs the question of how "enough" is enough? I accuse: This year's Academy Awards show neither shined nor sparkled, despite the director's endlessly tiresome repetition of the same camera shot showing those grotesquely cheap-looking humongous diamond earrings worn by one star. The show was flat. And that was even before we came to that colossal screwup by the say it with cards moment.

Would you like to know why Stephen Colbert's show broke the ratings barrier leaving Jimmys Fallon and Kimmel in his dust? It's just my theory and it's probably dangerous; it may be that you can, at long last, indeed underestimate the American craving for something more substant ial than air puffs. Might it be that lip-synching and game tables have finally become too much to bore? While it may be cute to not have to think while you watch celebrities play ping pong, that's the rub – you don't have to think.


I remember Billy Crystal talking about how hard he would prepare his amazing openings. How long do you think it took Jimmy Kimmel to prepare?

The jokes were baseless. The sparkle was never. Donald Trump was right. The tourists were genius, until one noticed that it went on too long, not to mention noblesse oblige. How very hoi polloi to let in a busload of the common folk. "Give 'em your sunglasses, Jen," Kimmel begged, acknowledging they should be giving them something. What was this, a little stunt they thought up on the fly without doing much thinking? It wasn't amateur night, Toto. Do you remember the Oscars? The stars, the grounds, the jokes, the style? The elegance of it, the class of it? Do you remember that year they went preppy? No one wants it so preppy it hurts your head. No one really wants the latest "it" person in their 15-minute about-to-expire reverie. Whoopie, even with a dress; Ellen, in the selfie year; and now such a nice guy, Jimmy. Come on, Academy, stop throwing everything at it and hoping something sticks. Now you're going for the lowest common denominator? * * * I blame Faye Dunaway. Warren Beatty was smart enough, and experienced enough, to know something was not right. Yet Faye had to just jump in and proclaim what gave Warren pause. In her race to be the one who broke that ceiling, she had to make sure everyone knew that a woman could be decisive where a man might hesitate. THOUGHT, PEOPLE. If Faye Dunaway had taken a second to give it a thought, the wrong winner would never have been announced. There would have been a brief, if comfortable pause, and they would have figured out the envelope was wrong. But no. Faye ran right out of Dodge and never came back, leaving Warren to handle questions. Young fools on Facebook called Warren Beatty old, not understanding he was pretty smart. Let's give Brian Cullinan his due; he's the varmint who handed Beatty the wrong envelope. Send in the FAA, send in a drug team. Pass a law against texting while giving out winner envelopes at the Oscars. Poor guy, how would you like to get your 15 minutes that way?

In a year with Jewish graves desecrated and not one but two American states; intelligence gained that can't be proved from a raid in Yemen with American life lost; executive presidential orders slapped down by courts all over the country; and with entry to the US blocked for actual US citizens; in this year, this year! the unthinkable has happened: they gave out the wrong envelope at the Oscars. Unthinkable! Jimmy Kimmel makes a joke of it: "I'm up there they’re trying very hard not to laugh." Stephen Colbert went one better about the Academy's role: "thank God they didn't run an STD clinic." Dear Oscars Acadamy: STOP DUMBING US DOWN. I could host. I just take someone who's fast on their feet, who has some taste, charm, and style. And who's not afraid to show their intelligence. "City of Stars" won the best song; L.A. is the city of stars. Surely we can find a star who can do it good job of hosting? A star who can be intelligent gracious, and classy as well? Does it still exist? ______________________________________________ ©Carole Bell 2017 Carole Bell is a writer interested in everything. You can write to her at:


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