On Hollywood’s most self-important night, I hosted New York’s only official screening of the Academy Awards, at the Paley Center for Media. It was a weird night with a most eclectic-audience (not my usual downtown/Brooklyn regulars.) But it made for a fun evening. Audience members enjoyed plenty of food and booze, while watching the pre-show and the ceremony.
From 8 o’clock until the end of the live telecast, I did comedy bits, movie trivia, dramatic readings of #Oscar tweets. Plus interactive games like “The Google Algorithm Quiz: Oscar Edition” (where audiences had to guess which actor’s name brought up certain keywords when being entered in the Google Search enging. For example, “Which actor/actress brings up the word “terrorist”? Answer: Mark Ruffalo.)
On stage was joined by my old Kevin Geeks Out producer M. Sweeney Lawless, plus old friends from Best Week Ever: Norman Baker and Caroline Waxler, and from Lucky Magazine fashion expert Christina Anderson. The commented, tweeted and even joined two audience members for a live throwdown battle of “6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon.” (In the end it was an audience member who linked Kevin Bacon and Colin Firth in only three degrees.)
During one of our audience polls the crowd was asked:
“Which topic will be the first to be used for a hacky joke?
- Charlie Sheen
- Justin Bieber
- Ricky Gervais
The overwhelming response was for a “Charlie Sheen” reference. About 40 minutes later, James Franco appeared in a Marilyn Monroe dress and quipped that he’d just received a text from Charlie Sheen. (And we all CHEERED!)
Over the course of the night, we handed out prizes like DVDs of The Office, Seinfeld and The Flip Wilson Show, soundtracks CDs and posters. The Grand Prize was a pair of $525 earrings (selected as one of Oprah Winfrey’s “Favorite Things”) awarded to the audience member who scored highest in our lightning-round game “Oscar Winner or Not?” The three-round game resulted in a sudden-death match of Trivia Thuderdome, two contenstands went head-to-head, competiting for the jewelery. In the end, the two contestants could not agree on whether or not Mel Brooks won the Oscar. (Answer: He won for Best Screenplay for The Producers (1968).
More photos from Sunday night: