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Douglas Fairbanks

Oscars 2014: Does the telecast have to be a joke fest?

Oscars 2014: Does the telecast have to be a joke fest?

So Ellen DeGeneres is set to host the 86th Academy Awards next week. Nothing against her or, for that matter, Billy Crystal (who has hosted nine telecasts), Whoopi Goldberg (who has hosted four) or Steve Martin (who has done three), but when was it decided that this most glamorous awards show needed to be funny to sustain an audience? After all, it's not as if comedy so dominates the proceedings that only a professional comedian is worthy of hosting it. In fact, the opposite is true. Rarely has a comedy even been nominated for best picture, much less won. Not counting 1998 hybrid "Shakespeare in Love," the last genuine comedy to win best picture was 1977's "Annie...

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