Ryan Seacrest Talks Dictator Dusting on Oscars Red Carpet: "I Was Surprised, but Not Surprised"

E!'s red carpet host gamely gives post-mortem on the watercooler moment of the night, when an in-character Sacha Baron Cohen dumped "ashes" on his tux

By Gina Serpe Feb 27, 2012 4:40 PMTags
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With all due respect to the witty and gracious winners, it was the red carpet encounter of our own Ryan Seacrest that will truly go down as Oscars' moment of the night.

And it couldn't have happened to a more game guy.

But don't let the E! host's take-it-in-stride veneer fool you: Like the rest of the viewing public, Seacrest definitely did not see this one coming.

Ryan rehashed the epic watercooler moment during an Oscars post-mortem on his KIIS-FM radio show this morning, relaying that while he had a feeling that Sacha Baron Cohen had some type of hijinks up his military sleeve, he didn't know what form those shenanigans would take.

"He arrived and I remember before the show…someone from a publicity office called and said, 'Hey, would you guys be interested in the Dictator?' We said sure, fine. When we said yes, in the back of my head, I said, this guy isn't coming as the Dictator to not do something—to what extent, I don't know. Whether it be a joke or something physical, I don't know.

"I definitely did not know that he was going to do that."

As for how it went down, Ryan said he tentatively began the interview, knowing that something might happen.

"He comes over and I ask him a couple questions and it was just, you know, in your gut, you feel like this is going too normally. It just seemed like this is…he didn't put all that on to just answer a couple of questions in character. What he was going to do, I don't know, whether he was going to do it around me or near me, I don't know."

That is, until Cohen made his move, which Seacrest saw just this side of too late.

"This urn…was getting closer to my chest," he said. "Then it tipped over, and it wasn't the wind. He spilt it on my tuxedo.

"I was surprised, but not surprised."

Luckily, he was also prepared.

"My mom told me as a young live-from-the-red-carpet reporter, she said, you always want to make sure if you can to have two jackets. You never know what's going to happen and you never know what you're going to spill on yourself and you want to be red carpet ready at all times. So I had another jacket."

Of course, while no one has yet definitively identified the ash-like substance that powdered Ryan's suit (and a good portion of the red carpet), Seacrest himself is pretty dang certain he knows what it was. And can't help but be slightly tickled at the inherent irony.

"I will tell you that, because I was watching my carbohydrate intake all week, I'm sure it was pancake mix. And the irony of me avoiding pancakes and things like pancakes all week and it being on my knee…the irony that the carbohydrates ended up on my shin, it's just ironic."

And a moment we won't soon forget—especially now that @RyansTux is speaking up for itself.

"Watching @Enews right now. Hope my stand-in tux doesn't get more love than me:(," the jacket tweeted today in the vein of @AngiesRightLeg.