Monday, February 25, 2008

Jon Stewart's Oscar Monologue

Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. What an exciting night. These past 3 and a half months have been very tough. The town was torn apart by a bitter writer’s strike but I’m happy to say that the fight is over, so tonight welcome to the make-up sex. Of course there is still obviously some collateral damage left over from the strike. Emotionally. Economically. Perhaps worst of all the canceling of the legendary Vanity Fair Oscar party. They said they did it out of quote respect for the writers and oh, you know another way they could show respect for the writers? Maybe one day invite some of them to the Vanity Fair Oscar party. They would enjoy it. Don’t worry, they won’t mingle, don’t worry.

They actually say that having the Oscars helped to end the strike. That the idea that getting the town back to work and having an Oscars was one of the impetus to get things done. Which I think is wonderful. So if we could, before spending the next 4 to 5 hours giving each other golden statues, let’s take a moment to congratulate ourselves.

Tonight we look beyond the dark days to focus on happier fare, this year’s slate of Oscar nominated psychopathic killer movies. Does this town need a hug? What happened? No Country for Old Men, Sweeney Todd, There Will be Blood. All I can say is thank G-d for teen pregnancy. No, I think the country agrees, they needed that kind of lighthearted fare.

There were, if I may, amazing performances this year and I think everybody can agree on that. There really were. Daniel Day Lewis: remarkable. Cate Blanchett: twice. My friend Javier Bardem. Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh. Remarkable. Your work in No Country for Old Men, combining brilliantly Hannibal Lector’s murderousness with Dorothy Hamill’s wedge cut. Julie Christie was absolutely amazing in Away From Her. Brilliant movie. It was the moving story of a woman who forgets her own husband. Hillary Clinton calls it the feel good movie of the year.

I was happy to see Atonement nominated this year for best picture quite frankly. Very happy. Atonement: finally a story that captured the passion and raw sexuality of Yom Kippur. I can see where the Jews are in the audience. There’s a great variety in the nominated films this year which I think is terrific. Even Norbit got a nomination, which I think is great. Too often the Academy ignores movies that aren’t good. Congratulations to Mr George Clooney for his fine film Michael Clayton. Sir, you’re a good man. The movie is a little over a 100 minutes long, but since it’s about lawyers you can just round that up to 2 hours. Big stars here: Johnny Depp. Harrison Ford. It’s unbelievable. Dennis Hopper is here for G-d’s sakes. That’s amazing. I only say that of course so Dennis knows where he is. You’re here. Don’t worry, I’m probably going to mention it every 15 minutes or so. It’s going to be alright, you’re with friends.

Tonight is not just about the actors, it’s also about directors, writers. Diablo Cody. What an amazing story. She wrote Juno, what a great movie. Diablo Cody used to be an exotic dancer and now she’s Oscar nominated screenwriters. I hope you’re enjoying the pay cut. I don’t know if you know this but if you want to find out our your stripper name at home all you have to do is take your pet’s name and the street you grew up on. So that makes my stripper name Olympia Dukakis. Hope I’m not stealing that from anyone.

Not all films did as well as Juno obviously. The films that were made about the Iraq war, let’s face it, did not do as well. But I’m telling you, if we stay the course and keep these movies in the theatres we can turn this around. I don’t care if it takes 100 years. Withdrawing the Iraq movies would only embolden the audience. We cannot let the audience win.

Oscar is 80 this year, which makes him now automatically the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. You have to admit, this is a huge election. An historic election. So much excitement. For the first time in so many years we don’t have an incumbent president or an incumbent vice-president. The field is wide open. Have you all had a chance to examine all the candidates, study their positions and pick the Democrat you’ll vote for? Democrats do have an historic race going. Hillary Clinton vs. Barack Obama. Normally, when you see a black man or a woman president an asteroid is about to hit the Statue of Liberty. How will we know it’s the future? Silver unitards, that can’t be all? You have to give Barack Obama credit, he’s overcome a great deal. Not just he’s an African-American. Barack Hussein Obama is his name. His middle name is the last name of Iraq’s former tyrant. His last name rhymes with Osama. That’s not easy to overcome. I think we all remember the ill fated 1944 presidential campaign of Gaydolf Titler. It’s just a shame, Titler had so many good ideas. We just couldn’t get past the name. And the moustache. But, are you ready to have a wonderful show ladies and gentlemen and welcome back to this town? I’m delighted that you’re here. We’re going to have a great night.

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