There are so many show-open possibilities that come to mind for Ellen DeGeneres March 2 under the tutelage of telecast producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan. And since Billy Crystal recently reminded just how tense the room is when the host first walks out, FishbowlNY would like to float out the following three options.
1) OPTION ONE – Dance With Everybody: Ellen could get the whole crowd into it, in the same way that Tilda Swinton did this spring at EbertFest in honor of the late Roger Ebert. Ellen dancing up and down the aisles would loosen the Dolby Theatre up, fast.
2) OPTION TWO – Dance With Jack: Nicholson would probably never go for it. But is there a more iconic audience member from the era when Academy Awards broadcasts were watchable? We don’t think so. A brief on-stage jig with the sunglassed one would get things off to a gold-standard start.
3) OPTION THREE – Dance With a Literal Ton of Previous Oscar Show Hosts: This gets our vote. Have Ellen boogie down on stage at the end of the opening musical number with as many predecessors as possible – Jon Stewart, David Letterman, James Franco, Anne Hathaway… We’ll leave it to the roomful of Oscar gag writers to figure out how to amiably get her from A to showstopping B. And if they really want to ice it, they should throw in an Eddie Murphy cameo.