Not even the sight of Neil Patrick Harris in his tighty whites could save last night’s Oscars from being a dull show. Although he opened with a zinger about the lack of minorities among the nominees — “Tonight we honor Hollywood’s best and whitest … sorry, brightest ” — and had a dig at the Academy’s snubbing of Jennifer Aniston and David Oyelowo, the host played it safe and obvious, with all-too expected jokes, a song and dance number, and even a magic trick. Harris is the president of The Magic Castle, but last night’s show was anything but magical.
What saved it from being one of the more forgettable Oscars of recent years was creepy Ken doll John Travolta, looking less like himself and more like a corpse that an over-enthusiastic mortician has worked on. On the red carpet he pulled a Joe Biden on Scarlett Johansson (I assume he thinks her name is Scrapfelt Chosensong). Later on stage he was paired with Idina Menzel – whose name Travolta famously messed up last year — in a bit that was meant to be charming and self-deprecating but that came off awkward and unintentionally hilarious. If Neill Blonkamp needs a face-hugger for his new Alien movie, Travolta will totally nail the part.