So it turns out, the man sleeping here and the ghost that’s haunting him are having a little fight.
Bruce Vilanch is the veteran comedy writer who’s been behind the jokes at 21 separate Oscars telecasts. James Franco is the 2011 host who couldn’t have cared less about the latest Oscars telecast. And that’s causing a bit of bad blood between the unlikely feuding duo. Says Vilanch of his host (in a Corky St. Clair/Tobias Fünke double entendre-laden rant about servicing someone):
I don’t think he realized how big a deal it is to do it until he was actually confronted with it. I think he thought he would kind of … I don’t know what he thought. I thought maybe it was a performance-art prank, and then I realized he sincerely wanted to do it. But it’s outside of those guys’ comfort zones. The only people who know how to host those shows are people who get up onstage every night and say, ‘Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. A funny thing happened … ‘ Or people like Bette [Midler] who get up and sing all night and tell stories.
No, he wasn’t high. I was with him, and he wasn’t high. And I asked him, ‘Are you high, and can I have some?’ And he said no to both.”
Did you ever think we’d get to a point in which an Oscar-nominated screen star would be publicly scrapping with a guy who makes pithy one-liners on Hollywood Squares? And that Bette Midler would be drawn into it somehow?
So obviously Franco didn’t take the bait, right? Oh no, he took the bait. After tweeting “Bruce, he let me down,” Franco summoned his inner Perez Hilton and MS Paint’d this masterpiece:
It’s the opinion of this site that both parties are at fault: Clearly, Franco didn’t work hard enough, but Vilanch could have scored better jokes if he’d written Franco as the guy who didn’t work hard enough. It seemed like that was a great hill to mind for comedy gold, but neither party realized it in the run-up.