Comedian/writer Carol Leifer explains what it’s like to script the Academy Awards broadcast, from Billy Crystal’s material to the often-awkward presenter banter.
My friend Jon Macks is working on this Sunday’s Oscars show, too, as he has for the 15 years. When he wasn’t busy with that, or writing other awards shows, or in his fulltime job writing jokes for Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show” monologue, Jon used to do a regular weekly segment on my radio shows. Most of the time, he just joked about whatever topical stuff came to his mind. But each year, on the day after the Oscars, I’d have him come on to reveal a little bit of what he witnessed from his vantage point backstage, working with the various movie stars, publicists, and others. Here’s an example of what those segments were like, from the afternoon after the 2007 Academy Awards, which were hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, and included Jon’s run-ins with Peter O’Toole, Tom Cruise, and Robert Downey Jr.