We give Jon Stewart high marks for good jokes, nice gestures and—get this—bringing the show in at something less than four hours. Here are some of the highlights:
"Before we spend the next four to five hours giving each other golden statues, let's take a moment to congratulate ourselves."
"Tonight we look beyond the dark days to focus on happier fare: this year's slate of Oscar-nominated psychopathic killer movies. Does this town need a hug? What happened? No Country for Old Men? Sweeney Todd? There Will Be Blood? All I can say is, thank God for teen pregnancy."
"Congratulations to Mr. George Clooney for his fine film Michael Clayton. The movie is a little over a hundred minutes long, but since it's about lawyers, you can round that up to two hours."
"Diablo Cody used to be an exotic dancer, and now she's an Oscar-nominated screenwriter. I hope you're enjoying the pay cut."
"Oscar is 80 this year, which makes him now automatically the front-runner for the Republican nomination."
"Democrats do have a historic race going. Hillary Clinton versus Barack Obama. Normally, when you see a black man or a woman president, an asteroid is about to hit the Statue of Liberty."
"In case you're wondering what we all do here during the commercial breaks, mostly we just sit around making catty comments about the outfits you're all wearing at home."
"This is the environmentally conscious Green Oscars. So, tonight, all of our presenters will be walking all the way to the microphones."
"Jessica Alba is pregnant, and I saw earlier that Cate Blanchett is pregnant. And that's very exciting. Two pregnant women here tonight at the Oscars—then again, obviously the night is still young. And Jack [Nicholson] is here."