I’ve been reading various opinions of how well Jon Stewart did with hosting the Oscars last night and it appears that some folks liked him, some hated him, and some were unimpressed either way. A good roundup of the mixed reactions can be found over at The Moderate Voice.
As for me? Well, this is the first time in literally decades that I’ve bothered to watch the Oscars myself and the sole reason I tuned it was to see Jon Stewart. I stopped giving a shit what movies/actors/directors/etc. won which awards a long time ago mainly because I learned that what the Academy thinks are great movies and what I think are great movies are very often entirely different things. Even when it was being hosted by people that are now considered the bests host from the past, such as Johnny Carson or Billy Crystal, I still found the Oscars to be boring and trivial at best. I simply don’t care enough to bother tuning it to see who won what when I can just get the highlights on the news the next day. Given all of that, the fact that I tuned in at all and stayed through to the end says a lot about how entertaining I thought Stewart was. I did miss the first half-hour or 45 minutes or so as I was downstairs doing something on the PC and I came up round about the time Dolly Parton was singing and that was enough to drive me back downstairs again until the warbling stopped.
Having said that it did seem to me that Stewart wasn’t at his best and I suspect it’s because he was trying to be nice. I can relate. My humor is dark and snarky and has more than a few naughty words in it as you’ve probably noticed if you’ve spent much time here at SEB. Every now and then I’ll get asked to be a Guest Blogger on someone else’s blog and, while it’s very flattering, I’m often at a loss of what to write because what I write here on SEB may not fit in so well at someone else’s blog with an entirely different audience. If I piss the audience off here the only person I’m affecting is myself, but if I go someplace else and piss off the audience I’m damaging someone else so I try to be nice and most of the contributions I have elsewhere (if I manage to contribute anything at all) ends up being pretty pathetic compared to what I write at home here on SEB.
When I heard Stewart was asked to host the Oscars my first thought was: Have they SEEN his show? Disney must be smoking crack! Not because I didn’t think he could do it, but because if he went in there and did his usual stuff he’d probably piss off a lot of folks who take the whole Oscar thing way too seriously. I’d probably consider that to be fabulous television, but the Oscar people wouldn’t be too happy about it. What Stewart ended up doing is pretty much what I expected him to do given the circumstances and, all things considered, I thought it wasn’t bad. The fact that he wrapped it up in a reasonable amount of time was great too. Had it stretched on much more past 11:30PM I would’ve bailed just because I needed to get some sleep.
I can tell you this much: If he hosts next year then I’ll be back. If he doesn’t then I’ll go back to be apathetic about watching the Oscars.