- The Washington Times - Monday, February 25, 2013

From the random salute to James Bond to the non-sequiturial “Chicago” revival to Seth MacFarlane’s predictably fratty but unpredictably tedious stint as a host — dear Rob Lowe and Snow White: All is forgiven — this year’s Oscars were even more tumefied and wearisome than usual.

Thank goodness for Twitter.

Once upon a time, viewers had to endure Hollywood’s big night of bloated self-celebration in relative silence. No longer. Thanks to the popular social media service, the Academy Awards are the target of a snarky, catty and altogether delightful virtual peanut gallery, a flurry of quips and wisecracks that typically are more amusing than the show itself. Particularly when Mr. MacFarlane is hosting, actress Kristen Stewart is sulking and actor Russell Crowe — God bless his bulldogish effort — is signing Broadway show tunes. Herein, our favorite Oscar Tweets:

The red carpet

• From actress/comedian Sandra Bernhard, @SandraBernhard: “Your dress will be beautiful when it’s finished.”
• From writer Tad Friend, ‏@tadfriend: “Halle Berry came as an art deco theater”
• From comedian Erikka Innes, ‏@nerdgirlcomedy: “Re: Anne Hathaway’s dress… IT’S ALL FUN AND GAMES TIL SOMEONE LOSES AN EYE”
• From Atlantic Wire writer Richard Lawson, @rilaws: “George Clooney is starting to look like a small college theater professor.”
• From anonymous humor writer Pour Me Coffee, @pourmecoffee: “In Hell, Ryan Seacrest interviews your tormentors in front of you before they begin.”
• From writer/critic Matt Singer, @mattsinger: “As an actor, Robert De Niro can play almost anything except interest in an interviewer’s questions.”
• From Harper’s Bazaar editor Laura Brown, @laurabrown99: “What happens when Kristen Chenoweth sucks on a helium balloon?”
• From Breitbart.com writer Ben Shapiro, @benshapiro: “‘Zero Dark Thirty’: This is the weekend Obama didn’t play golf #AlternativeMovieSlogans”
• From New York Times writer Dave Itzkoff, @ditzkoff: “The people of South Africa are going to be so thrilled to see #OscarMystery trending.”

The opening number

• From Time Out NY film editor David Fear, @davidlfear: “So wait, Peter Brady is hosting the Oscars?”
• From basketball writer Bethlehem Shoals, ‏@freedarko: “I would hire Seth MacFarlane to do some voiceover work if I were making something I hated.”
• From Mr. Itzkoff: “‘There’s no wrong answers in brainstorming’ — someone who hasn’t seen this year’s Oscars opening yet”
• From Mr. Lawson: “The best thing about Seth MacFarlane is that you can never tell when he’s setting up a joke. The guy is seamless.”
• From Atlantic Wire writer Jen Doll, ‏@thisisjendoll: “real words said in my apartment: ‘i miss Billy Crystal’ “
• From film critic Lou Lumenick @LouLumenick: “Rob Lowe has sent MacFarlane a thank-you note for the boobs song.”
• From humorist Lee Papa, @rudepundit: “Tonight, we are all Tommy Lee Jones.”

The ‘Jaws’ cut-off music

• From screenwriter/playwright Patrick Hume, ‏@patrickhume: “Playing people off to “Jaws” is a snarky joke you make on Twitter, not something you actually do.”
• From advertiser/cultural blogger Rick Liebling, ‏@RickLiebling: “The next guy who goes long should get either Keyboard Cat or the ‘whee whee whee’ from the Psycho shower scene.”
• From Oscar-winning actor Richard Dreyfuss, ‏@RichardDreyfuss: “I always dreamed that the score of one of my films would be used to play people off at the Oscars. We did it, Steven!”
• From anonymous Twitter poster The Happy Feminist, ‏@HappyFeminist: “What would have made Jaws cutoff perfect was having 70s SNL landshark come out and tackle the guy.”

The show, part I

• From Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Gay, ‏@jasonWSJ: “I would say I feel bad that Robert DeNiro has to sit there for two more hours, but I saw ‘Meet the Fockers.’ “
• From Thinkprogress writer Zack Beauchamp, @zackbeauchamp: “On a scale of one to Wille Nelson, how high are Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy?”
• From the website TVWithoutPity, ‏@TVWithoutPity: “#ChristophWaltz has now won more #Oscars for Tarantino movies than Quentin Tarantino. Though the night is young.”
• From Grantland writer Brian Phillips, ‏@runofplay: “I don’t THINK I’ve seen Christoph Waltz’s boobs, but I’m writing an exploratory ballad to find out.”
• From author Walter Kirn, ‏@walterkirn: “The worst is when the stars cover their faces with their hands while laughing to hide the fact that they aren’t really laughing”
• From author Joyce Carol Oates, @JoyceCarolOates: “Should initiate a tradition in which losers bitterly denounce associates … family & God who’d botched their chances.”
• From Esquire writer Chris Jones, ‏@MySecondEmpire: “This cinematography guy is like what would happen if Robert Downey Jr. had played Gandalf.”
• From GQ magazine editor Devin Gordon, ‏@Devingo913: “To all the people complaining that these Oscars are awful so far: have you never watched the Oscars before?”

The Bond tribute

• From Deadspin writer Timothy Burke, ‏@bubbaprog: “If you had never seen a Bond movie & watched that montage, you’d think the franchise a cheap A-Team knockoff.”
• From magazine editor Evie Nagy, @EvieN: “I will now judge everything on a scale of Seth MacFarlane to Shirley Bassey.”
• From Huffington Post writer Mike Ryan, @mikeryan: “Somewhere, a-Ha are sitting by their phones, ‘they still might want us to sing The Living Daylights; they could still call, fellas.’ “

The show, part II

• From Salon writer Alex Pareene, @pareene: “OK OSCARS I’LL TELL YOU ABU AHMED’S REAL NAME”
• From New York magazine film critic Bilge Ebiri, @BilgeEbiri: “Travolta: Now we know what happened to Anne Hathaway’s hair.”
• From television writer Ali Adler, ‏@AliAdler: “Oh look it’s a candle made out of John Travolta.”
• From writer Matt Roller, ‏@rolldiggity: “‘Nothing good happened this year!’ ‘Let’s just redo Chicago?’ — Oscars Musical Producers”
• From comedian/author John Hodgman, @hodgman: “What category is this oscar tie for again? Luxurious hair on dudes?”
• From “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” writer Mike Drucker, ‏@MikeDrucker: “The music director of this year’s Oscars is just the ‘Movie Theme’ Pandora Radio station.”
• From anonymous account “waffles+falafels,” ‏@wafflesgirls: “OMG ANNE HATHAWAY JUST WENT POLITICAL. here’s hoping her words help fix the socio-economic issues of 19th century france”
• From Gawker writer “Mobutu Sese Seko,” @Mobute: “Man, Daniel Day Lewis. It’s gotta be awkward for Seth MacFarlane to have to follow someone who told a lot of good, effortless jokes.”
• From New York Post columnist John Podhoretz, @jpodhoretz: “Memo to Tony Kushner: Should have used n word 109 times.”
• From Slate writer Dana Stevens, @thehighsign: “You wear a brocaded Christo wrapping to the Oscars, you’re going to trip on the stairs. She looks beautiful though. Mazel Tov.”
• From actor/comedian John Fugelsang, @JohnFugelsang: “Rush Limbaugh just saw Michelle Obama give #oscars2013 best picture to a film where the heroes are Canada, Hollywood & Jimmy Carter.”
• From hockey blogger Sean McIndoe, @DownGoesBrown: “So Canada does all the work and then America gets the trophy at the end. ‘Argo’ is basically an NHL season.”
• From New York Post film critic Lou Lumenick, @LouLumenick: “OK, I guess we can officially forgive GIGLI, SURVIVING CHRISTMAS, PEARL HARBOR, THE SUM OF ALL FEARS, REINDEER GAMES …”
• From Buzzfeed writer Andrew Kaczynski, @BuzzFeedAndrew: “Argo would never have happened after the sequester.”

The finale

• From Sports Illustrated writer Richard Deitsch, @richarddeitsch: “Watching this final Oscar number, I now know what the people in Argo felt like.”
• From Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips, @phillipstribune: “ARGO, fete yourself. And to all a good night.”
• From the Twitter account for folk-rock band The Mountain Goats, ‏@mountain_goats: “‘Did you see all those angry tweets from people who kept right on watching? Kick [expletive], let’s do this again next year’ — the Academy”