If the Academy Awards don't ask Ellen DeGeneres back next year, they really are going to have one hell of a time coming up with anyone good enough to follow her act.
DeGeneres managed a funny and tasteful monologue that only briefly skirted towards controversial (when she referred to Liza Minnelli as a drag queen for instance) and largely avoided the pitfalls of recent hosts. Think black face and "boob" jokes.
DeGeneres as emcee was a departure in that she truly allowed the experience of watching the Oscars to be the most interactive and internet-friendly that it has ever been. She frequently interacted with the television audience by breaking the fourth wall in hilarious fashion and took "selfies" with A-List celebrities all evening long.
This included the record-breaking photo she took with a random collection of stars that included Bradley Cooper (who took the shot), Lupita Nyong'o, her brother, Meryl Streep, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts and Kevin Spacey among others. Jared Leto's head was cut off but at least he made it into the picture.
Liza Minnelli wanted in on the memorable moment, but unfortunately she was simply too short to make it into the picture. Sorry, Liza.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
As for DeGeneres, her random antics throughout the show made it impossible for the show runners to stick to the schedule or so it seemed. Did you notice that despite the embarrassingly lengthy speeches there wasn't a series of people being "played off"? It's as if the show runners just accepted the fact that DeGeneres was in charge for the evening and threw their arms up in the air at any idea of predictable order.
Free reign for DeGeneres lead to some creative moments, including random conversations with nominees and not being where the cameraman expected her to be and the improvisation that followed.
There was also a pizza delivery that led to Brad Pitt of all people paper plates so that members of the audience could share the grub. Ellen later took up a lucrative collection for the pizza, which included Lupita Nyong'o's lip balm. She noted that it was probably valuable and pocketed it.
Brad Pitt. Forever keeping it real. pic.twitter.com/0EXyjRf9Bd
— Eddie Vargo (@Eddie_GaGa) March 3, 2014
It was an evening that was anything but boring thanks in large part to the efforts of Ellen DeGeneres, who proved herself a host for the 21st Century. If the Academy decides to wait another seven years to bring her back, it would be a big mistake.
Image via YouTube