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A Na'vi in the flesh

The Na'vi are no laughing matter. It was almost a minute into Ben Stiller's routine, in which he appreared onstage in full Na'vi gear to present the Oscar for best makeup, that "Avatar" director James Cameron seemed to crack a smile. It took a flailing of Stiller's tail for the director to finally seem down with Stiller's bit. Yet Stiller, previewing what will surely be the most popular Halloween costume of 2010, brought a bit of over-the-top goofiness to the proceedings. We're not experts in the Na'vi language here, but Stiller translated his opening rant to the audience. "That means, 'This seemed like a better idea in a rehearsal.' It was between this and the Nazi uniform, but the show seemed a little Hitler-heavy." But here's what was most shocking about Stiller's outfit: Subtract the computer animation, and a Na'vi get-up looks like little more than an ol'-fashioned "Star Trek" alien. Stiller seemed aware, noting it would have been easier to just slap on his Leonard Nimoy-autographed Spock ears."That would have been too nerdy. This is much cooler." Kevin Winter / Getty Images