Academy Awards Hangover: The boringest Oscars show ever?


Aside from Jon Stewart’s monologue and the Jonah Hill/Seth Rogan-Halle Berry/Judi Dench bit, it was kind of like watching “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End”—I really wanted to enjoy it, to believe it was worth the hype, but it just seemed to drag and drag. And, of course, it was utterly predictable.

OK, so maybe Marion Cotillard was a surprise, but were any of the others? Maybe I’m a little bitter that Hal Holbrook and Ruby Dee ended up empty-handed (even though I did pick Tilda Swinton), or maybe it’s just that the supposedly “shortened” clip-reels from past ceremonies padded the show with what felt like a half-hour of filler (loved the Jon Stewart tributes to “binoculars and telescopes” and “bad dreams,” though). Bottom line: I’m kinda wishing I’d spent the night watching the latest installment of “The Wire” instead.

A few more random thoughts on the evening:

cynthia-wade.jpg• Go Cynthia Wade! The one true silver-lining moment of the evening for me was when the Croton native (pictured here, on the left) won the award for Best Documentary Short Subject. In case you haven’t seen our RNN Oscar Special yet, Karen DePodwin has an outstanding interview and profile of Wade — in full Oscar-preparation mode. Skip about 1/4 of the way through the full video to watch it.


• Was it just me, or did Denzel Washington look royally pissed off to be presenting Best Picture? And really, can you blame him? The Mount Vernon native got snubbed for not one, but two films (“American Gangster” and “The Great Debaters”). I can’t speak to the latter, but for my money, the former was easily as good as any of the actual Best Pic nominees.

ruby-dee.jpg• Boy, did New Rochelle’s Ruby Dee look shocked after they played the clip of her slapping Denzel in “American Gangster”? As she watched from her seat, the expression on her face seemed to say: “That was me in that movie? Damn, I’m good!”

• Nobody was more uncomfortable in their attire than Diablo Cody. As she walked away from the podium after accepting Best Original Screenplay, with the slit in her dress riding up waaay too high, the only thought running through her head: I knew I shoulda worn underwear.

(All photos: AP)

Jon Stewart references obscure Drew Barrymore movie filmed in Tuckahoe

picture-2.jpgI only know of a few people outside of the Lower Hudson Valley who have heard of the 2001 Drew Barrymore movie “Riding in Cars with Boys,” which was filmed on Main Street in Tuckahoe and other regional spots.

So when Jon Stewart referenced the flick and had the main characters’ (alleged) action figures make out with each other on Thursday’s episode of “The Daily Show,” I had to bring this to the attention of Suburbarazzi Nation.

Stewart had been reporting on the health crisis involving toys manufactured in China when he mentioned that the movie’s Barrymore and Steve Zahn action figures were unaffected. He proceeded to grab dolls with a marginal likeness to the two actors and acted out fake dialog from the movie.


[Playing Barrymore’s part:] ‘Ohhh, Ray! Oh, Ray! I think I’m pregnant!’

[Playing Zahn’s part:] ‘But you’re only 16 and I’m addicted to heroin!’


Stewart then shoved the faces of the dolls into each other, made bizarre make-out noises for a few seconds, looked into the camera awkwardly and put the dolls down.

A clip of the full segment is here, with the first “Riding” reference occurring about halfway through and continuing for the rest of the bit.

I reported on the Tuckahoe shoot in 2000 and can vouch for the fact that Barrymore and costar Brittany Murphy were pleasant with fans and signed many autographs. Murphy was exceptionally kind to autograph seekers, taking the time to talk at length with several children who approached her outside her trailer.

According to Internet Movie Database, the Penny Marshall-directed movie also filmed in Congers, Harrison, Mount Vernon, West Nyack and Yonkers.

(Screenshot: Comedy Central)

Will Jon Stewart — not Conan O’Brien — succeed Jay Leno on ‘Tonight Show’?

I’ve always preferred North Salem resident David Letterman to Jay Leno. Letterman’s once-groundbreaking alternative approach to late-night comedy bred his most critically acclaimed contemporaries, including Conan O’Brien and Jon Stewart.

I don’t think Jay’s a bad guy or anything — his hilarious “Headlines” segment or one of my favorite A-list guests sometimes will convince me to flip from CBS to NBC for a few minutes — but I’ve always had a far greater fondness for all things Letterman since NBC tabbed Leno for “The Tonight Show.” Still, we Suburbarazzi must have some respect for the late-night ratings champ: After all, while Leno grew up in Andover, Mass., he’s a native of New Rochelle.

AP photos. Leno:Paul Drinkwater; O’Brien:Kevork Djansezian; Stewart:Eddie AdamsBecause Leno tends to stay out of the tabloids, the best gossip of late that revolves around “The Tonight Show” involves his eventual replacement. So, for one shining moment, let’s discuss an empty seat on a talk show that doesn’t involve “The View.” (Hooray!)

If Leno sticks to his word and retires when his contract expires in 2009, NBC will be faced with a few options. The right thing to do — on a few levels — would be to hire O’Brien, whose rough start in the mid-’90s has blossomed into improved ratings and late-night’s most consistently funny hour. Not only has NBC announced that the former “Simpsons” writer would take Leno’s post in ’09, but also O’Brien has the best chance to charm new viewers while retaining devout fans.

But of late, rumors have been circulating that NBC execs are trying to woo Stewart for “The Tonight Show.”

As much as I love Stewart’s insightful interviews, ironic gravitas and impeccable delivery on “The Daily Show,” a shift to network late-night poses a few problems — almost all of which would involve ratings, not a lack of talent. He would probably be asked to strike a happy medium politically, potentially alienating liberal fans of “The Daily Show” and fighting an uphill battle to attract conservative viewers who hate it. Plus, his previous attempt at a late-night show didn’t fare so well.

Also, should NBC pick Stewart over the previously announced O’Brien, it would result in the biggest late-night controversy since Leno unfairly claimed Johnny Carson’s seat over Letterman, potentially prompting a backlash among viewers. (Although it warrants mentioning that O’Brien wouldn’t exactly be walking away empty-handed; his contract buyout has been reported as high as $40 million.)

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