The Oscar nominations are in. And so, it would seem, are the critiques.
For everyone who may be missing the presence of Ricky Gervais this awards season, fear not: judging by his performance at this morning's open mic night Academy Award nominations, the Brit's polarizing comedic shoes are already on their way to being well and truly filled by Oscar host Seth MacFarlane.
While usually caffeine-fuelled, blurry-eyed and relatively subdued affairs (the Academy Award nominations are announced at 5:30 a.m., after all), this morning's take was something else. And what that was seems to be entirely dependent on who you ask.
Granted, a Hitler joke before 6 a.m. isn't everyone's cup of tea, but Seth seemed determined to show the assembled journalists and home viewers a good time, starting with the introduction of his coannouncer Emma Stone. A coannouncer was needed, he said, "since there's nothing creepier than a guy standing by himself at 5 o'clock in the morning."
And he was off. And so was Emma.
After reading off the prompter of the young actress that, "some say she's better than Meryl Streep," he asked who, exactly, was saying that.
"I don't know, nobody...a lot of people," she deadpanned.
After reading out the contenders for Best Supporting Actor, Stone also helpfully noted after each and every name, "he's won before," leading MacFarlane to crack, "Breath of fresh air in that category."
Seth and Emma's running commentary continued throughout the nomination reading. Here's a sampling:
Seth, on the Adapted Screenplay Nominees: "This is adapted screenplay...so the writers basically just copied stuff from Microsoft Word and pasted it into Final Draft."
Emma, on Seth's Best Song Oscar Nomination: "You know, the MTV Awards once gave Michael Jackson a Lifetime Achievement Award just so he would show up."
Seth, on Amour's Nominations: "I read Amour was coproduced by Austria and Germany. The last time Austria and Germany coproduced something, it was Hitler."
Seth, on the Best Actress Nominees: "Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein."
Emma, on Denzel Washington's Best Actor Nomination for Flight: "Denzel's character was actually as drunk as half the people who are up at this hour."
Seth, on the Best Picture Nominees: "Argo has been nominated, someone tell Cranston he can unclench his teeth now. Bryan, I love you."
This is one Oscar ceremony you're not going to want to miss.