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Old Man Oscar's Makeover

Today the word is out that not only will Chris Rock be hosting the Oscars, he'll be hosting a different, wackier Oscarcast. Producing genius Gil Cates said today that this year's Oscar show will feature some winners being awarded in their seats and, in other categories, all nominees being brought onstage.

The show's 71-year-old producer Gil Cates announced that the changes were made "to accommodate Rock's hip-hop-direct brand of comedy," according to the L.A. Times. The show's new set will jut into the audience, a feature that Cates said "Would not work for Billy Crystal or Whoopi Goldberg, but... is a very good fit with Chris."

Why do I get the unsettling feeling about all this "hip-hop" talk? Look, Chris Rock is a brilliant comedian -- but what makes him unique has nothing to do with hip-hop. It has to do with him being a funny, edgy, cutting comedian. Chris Rock doesn't need to be walking down the "yellow brick road" under the gondola of the Kodak Theatre. Chris Rock doesn't need to motion five Best Actress nominees on stage. Chris Rock doesn't need to award the Best Sound Editing award to a guy who now has to sit in his seat rather than come onstage.

Not to mention that listening to a 71-year-old hollywood producer talk about hip-hop sensibilities is giggle-inducing.

None of it will matter anyway. This year's Oscarcast will still be bloated and boring -- except for Rock's material. I'm expecting him to kill. But not even Chris Rock can save the Oscars... not even with the help of Old Man Cates.


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