The Television Critics Assoc. (of which I'm a member) just came out with its 2006 TCA Award nominations and, save for the Battlestar Galactica snub, it's a pretty fraktastic lineup. I'm especially jazzed that after years of checking off Lauren Graham's name, our girl finally made the cut. Ditto Scrubs. With any luck, both will prevail on July 23 when the trophies are handed out. (FYI: If the TCA brass are reading this, I've got dibbs on presenting Lauren with her award if she wins. C'mon, it's a no-brainer.) A list of the major nominees are below. See if you can guess who I'm voting for.INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN COMEDYSteve Carell (The Office) Stephen Colbert (The Colbert Report) Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls) Jason Lee (My Name Is Earl) Jon Stewart (The Daily Show) INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT IN DRAMAAlan Alda (The West Wing) James Gandolfini (The Sopranos) Hugh Laurie (House) Kiefer Sutherland (24) Kyra Sedgwick (The Closer) OUTSTANDING NEW PROGRAM OF THE YEAR Big Love (HBO) The Colbert...
Question: Just read your review of the Oscars and thought it a bit harsh. This is, after all, an awards show, with the main event being the handing out of awards. Certainly the singing performances, funny montages and humorous turns by Jon Stewart, Ben Stiller, Will Ferrell and Steve Carell were attempts to liven up the evening. Some succeeded, some failed. But what would you recommend instead? Although I agree with you that there are many ways to reduce the lengthy event, that won't automatically make it any more interesting. So what will? Or do you concede that the Oscars are just one of those events that viewers and critics alike will always find fault with, no matter what happens or who hosts?
Answer: Gee, a critic being harsh? How did that happen? You're right, though. I've been reviewing Oscar shows since maybe the late '80s, and I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've had a mostly positive impression (usually the years with Billy Crystal at the helm). As I
Rob Corddry, a correspondent for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, follows in the footsteps of such comedic peers as Conan O'Brien and Saturday Night Live's Amy Poehler when he lends his voice to The N's O'Grady (Fridays at 9:30 pm/ET) this week. Here's what he had to tell us about his animated gig, advising Jon Stewart on the Oscars and more.
TVGuide.com: On O'Grady, who or what are you voicing? A news reporter, perhaps?Rob Corddry: No, actually
Jon Stewart did his best, but it wasn't good enough. There are limitations in being a clever, self-deprecating master of irony, when what the job of Oscar host truly demands is being a showman. Which Stewart would probably be the first to admit he's not.
His humor, politically barbed but never obnoxious, was possibly a bit too sophisticated for that cavernous room. But what really defeated him, as it has almost every modern-day Oscar host except for Billy Crystal, is the deadly monotony of the Oscar show itself. What a fossiled relic. The Oscar broadcast is a classy but inert dinosaur, and this year's was more forgettable than most.
Stewart gamely tried to deflate the evening's pomposity whenever he could — after a montage on message movies, he quipped, "and none of these issues were ever a problem again" — but still, we had to sit through it all anyway.
Even with a last-minute shocker, as Crash
Walk the Line's Reese Witherspoon
While favorites Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) walked away with the top acting honors at Sunday's Oscars, Crash pulled an upset by lassoing the best-picture trophy away from Brokeback Mountain. In the supporting slots, Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener) and the never-fails-to-impress George Clooney (Syriana) grabbed gold. One of the night's other surprises came when rap group Three 6 Mafia's raucous "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" (from Hustle & Flow) merited the Academy Award for best song. (A complete list of winners can be found here.) Me, I couldn't help but be fixated on Keira Knightley's seeming inability to crack a smile for Jon Stewart. Geez, loosen up, girl.
The 78th Annual Academy Awards 8:01: The opening scene just demonstrates why we love Jon Stewart: No one does self-deprecation so funny. Not even George Clooney. I think my dog would look great in a Steve Martin wig.
8:05: At first, the Hollywood royalty aren't laughing quite as hard as I am at Jon's jokes — especially not at the one about the suffering caused by movie piracy. But nothing brings people together like a Bjork joke. (She was trying on her gown and Cheney shot her!) And then the gay Western montage. Not even Stewart knows how to follow up that hilarity, so I'm not even gonna try. Brilliant.
8:16: Nicole Kidman's weird intro for the best-supporting-actor nominees has me thinking right away that Clooney will win. And then he does; self-deprecation keeps working wonders. "So I'm not winning director." The music starts after about 10 sec
Jon Stewart hosts the 78th Annual Academy Awards.
The Daily Show's Jon Stewart, host of the 78th Annual Academy Awards (airing Sunday at 9 pm/ET on ABC) answers TVGuide.com readers' burning questions!
What can you tell me about your Oscar-hosting gig? — Paul Strouse, Pittsburgh, Pa.Jon Stewart: This may be the most devastating, controversial, powerful, dangerous awards show ever.... No, I'm looking to have fun with it. If people are kind enough to spend four hours watching this damn show, I'm hoping to give them something other than a numb ass. And I won't sing; I want them to be happy.
Will you have The Daily Show's Rob Corddry or Ed Helms on hand to help on the red carpet with some impromptu interviews? Or Stephen Colbert —
For those like me who have an early bedtime, here's a recap of the best potshots taken at Vice President Dick Cheney, who errantly filled hunting buddy Harry Whittington with buckshot on Saturday. David Letterman: "The sad part is that before the trip, Donald Rumsfeld denied the guy's request for body armor." Jay Leno: "When people found out he shot a lawyer, his popularity [rose] to 92 percent." And Jon Stewart, with my fave: "Moms, dads, I can't emphasize this enough. Do not let your kids go on hunting trips with the vice president. I don't care what kind of lucrative contracts they're trying to land or energy regulations they're trying to get lifted, it's just not worth it."
Penn Jillette in The Aristocrats
Paul Provenza is a seasoned comedy veteran. From stand-up to acting in sitcoms and movies, he's no stranger to the funny bone. So it's not surprising that his directorial debut — a meditation on one unbelievably dirty joke — garnered some serious attention at last year's Sundance Film Festival. The Aristocrats, arriving in stores today on DVD, is a who's who of comedy's finest — from George Carlin to Robin Williams to Jon Stewart to Whoopi Goldberg, and the list goes on and on. Provenza spoke with TVGuide.com about the movie and about one particular telling of The Aristocrats that has gone down in Hollywood lore.
TVGuide.com: This project is the brainchild of you and Penn Jillette
Question: Instead of the usual TV-show questions I'm sure you get often, how about an awards-show question? We recently had Dennis Miller host the Critics Choice Awards and Craig Ferguson host the People's Choice Awards. Personally, I thought they both sucked [because they] never really [got] into their normal rhythms. With Jon Stewart hosting the Oscars this year, I'm not too optimistic, after his hosting of the Grammys a few years back. I wonder if the Golden Globes have it right (one of the few) by not having a host. Sure, the Oscars have the prestige and pomp of being "the best of the best," but I can only think of the Tonys and maybe Emmys with having the hosts best suited for their awards and crowd in the past few years. I know Jon Stewart hasn't hosted the show yet, but how do you think he'll do, and what if the Oscars got rid of a host altogether?
Answer: I'm hoping Jon Stewart succeeds. He's a smart guy, very funny and currently at the top of his game. Which is reason enough to