When our friends at ThePlaylist (specifically Oly Lyttleton) recently posted their Oscars post-mortem, “5 Suggestions on How to Make Next Year’s Ceremony Better Than 2012,” one of their suggestions involved a certain lumpy effervescent novelty t-shirt enthusiast who may or may not be eye f*cking me in the banner of this post. I don’t want to give it away, but that seems like a good hint.
Axe Bruce Vilanch, Get New Writers
While Crystal gets the lion’s share of the blame this year, there’s been a recurring problem over the last few years: the jokes have just not been that funny. Veering on the side of respectable (except for the sort-of-staggering blackface and race gags this year, which, like Crystal, seemed to come straight out of a 1961 ceremony), and rarely hitting the spot, responsibility must come at the feet of veteran comic Bruce Vilanch, who’s been head writer on the show for a decade. James Franco publicly feuded with Vilanch after the show last year, and while Franco was far from blameless, we saw his point: like Crystal, Vilanch, who is 63, has seen better days, and the show needs some new blood. And that’s something they seem to be aware of — Hugh Jackman‘s gig in 2009, was penned by, among others, Dan Harmon and Rob Schrab (“Community“) and Ben Schwartz (“Parks and Recreation,” “House of Lies“). They’ve all been busy on TV shows, for sure, but given that writers rooms on many shows wrap in early February, it wouldn’t be impossible to get them back. And if not them, there’s plenty of others who could make it work.
What ThePlaylist, who I should point out are generally pretty solid, especially with their research and fact checking, didn’t count on, was Bruce Vilanch being an avid self-Googler. DON’T DO IT, BRUCE! YOU’LL GO BLIND!
From the same post’s comments section:
BRUCE VILANCH: dear mr. lyttleton — i had nothing to do with the show this year. check the credits. i am also 64 years old. check my birth certificate. i am also a person who encouraged hugh to bring in those writers and we all wrote and rewrote together. they got the credit on the opening song and won the emmy. i am sorry my best years are behind me. but so’s my ass, which is pretty fabulous and gets a lot of work. this is really me. see what happens when you have google alert? you get to read all the misinformed crap that’s written about you. enjoy your career!
Hmm. After careful consideration, I’m going to have to score that one for Mr. Vilanch. I especially love a burn that references the burner’s penchant for receiving anal sex. But don’t feel bad, Playlist, we all blow a fact-check from time to time. Or a DUDE, IN BRUCE VILANCH’S CASE! (Sorry, he’s better at this than me. And I’m disappointed he didn’t do anything with that “must come at the feet of Bruce Vilanch” part, which seemed like a softball). Also, as much as I make fun of lots of people for lots of things, I generally try to steer clear of bashing comedy writers on account of their age. If only because I hope to become an aging comedy writer myself someday. As a long-term strategy, it’s less than ideal. However, the fact that Bruce Vilanch looks like someone tried to dress up a beanbag chair as Garth from Wayne’s World? That’s still fair game.