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Summing Up

By RD Heldenfels Published: March 5, 2006

I give Jon Stewart about a C minus as host. Not a strong monologue, and he seemed determined not to venture too far from his lectern. Too many better-on-paper jokes.

Having had a moment to think about it, I'm a little surprised that the political content was as muted as it was, given the Iraq war and the way a lot of Hollywood feels about President Bush.

Relatively efficient telecast, coming in at 3 1/2 hours.  But you have to wonder why the movie academy keeps claiming that it will finish in three hours.

Good stuff: Opening sketch, Clooney's acceptance, Ben Stiller, Lily and Meryl, Reese's acceptance, the ''Pimp'' acceptance.

Bad stuff: Three high points were in the first hour. Misspelling Will Ferrell's name. Lauren Bacall. ''Pimp'' overly edited for broadcast. (Make that ''Pimp'' edited for broadcast, period. If the words scare the academy, then put some content rules in the nomination process.) Cutting off the best-picture producers.

Preshow: Thank goodness for Keira Knightley. Should have been more finery on view. Wish I had recorded Joan Rivers's chat with Ludacris.

Look later for a podcast from me and George Thomas. You're a beautiful audience! Goodnight!

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