Well Played, NPH: Oh, that sneaky, sneaky NPH! 'How I Met Your Mother' and upcoming 'Smurfs' movie star Neil Patrick Harris denied, via his Twitter account, this week that he was performing the opening number at the Oscar ceremony. Actually, what he said exactly was, "I will not be performing a duet with Martin Short to open the Oscars. Misinformation, I'm afraid." Alright, so there was no Martin Short, so it wasn't really a lie, but there he was in an opening song-and-dance number. Sneaky, sneaky NPH!
How To Describe Them?: NPH's Oscar song, 'No One Wants to Do It Alone,' description of hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin: "The biggest pair since Dolly Parton."
'Fess Up, You Got Teary, Too: Teen movie queen Molly Ringwald and Ferris Bueller himself, Matthew Broderick, introduced a video clip tribute to filmmaker John Hughes, who died last August, followed by Hughes movie stars Macaulay Culkin, Jon Cryer, Judd Nelson, Ally Sheedy and Anthony Michael Hall taking the stage. "Thank you for coming," Broderick said to Hughes' family members in the audience, "and John, Danke schön."
Best Ambush Since That Streaker Guy Interrupted David Niven: When director Roger Ross Williams took the stage to accept the Oscar for Best Documentary, Short Subject for 'Music by Prudence,' he'd barely gotten a few seconds into his speech when a woman, ostensibly someone connected to the movie, ran onto the stage and began speaking, somewhat incoherently, ostensibly about the movie. They were quickly shooed off the stage when someone wisely cued "get off the stage" music.
Na'vi or Not Na'vi?: Ben Stiller presented the Oscar for Best Makeup and took the stage in full Na'vi look. Cool? No, for several reasons: 1) As Stiller pointed out, 'Avatar' wasn't even nominated; 2) This was a tamer (and lamer) version of an 'Avatar'-related skit that, reportedly, was ditched, so as not to ruffle director James Cameron's feathers; and 3) Like many a Ben Stiller bit, this one went on too long.
Oscar Stage or Lamps-R-Us?: It wasn't bad, but that backdrop -- made of what appeared to be lighted lampshades -- that first appeared when Robin Williams took the stage to present the statue for Best Supporting Actress was ... odd. And bright. And probably the only Oscar backdrop we'll ever remember.
Oh No He Didn't!: Oh yes, he did! The Kodak Theater crowd may have given Mo'Nique a standing ovation for her Best Supporting Actress win, but roll it back on your DVR and see what we swear looks like Samuel L. Jackson rolling his eyes after Mo'Nique's rather, um, dramatic acceptance speech.
And the Statue for Most Pop Culture-Friendly Oscar Show Ever Goes to: This year's Oscar telecast, which followed its dancing Doogie opening number with tributes to John Hughes teen flicks and horror movies.
A Fitting Tribute: Nothing snarky about this: James Taylor singing the Beatles 'In My Life' during the photo and video tribute to stars who died in 2009 was just brilliant. Please let his performance be available on iTunes tomorrow.
On the Other Hand, Heaven Must Be Missing an Angel: No wait, it's the Oscar ceremony that's missing an angel, a 'Charlie's Angel,' as in Farrah Fawcett, who was shamefully missing from the tribute to celebs who died last year.
O Pilobolus, Where Art Thou?: That dance performance ode to the Best Original Score nominees? Really made us long for Pilobolus at the '07 Oscars.
And the Oscar Goes to ... Madea?: "They just said my name at the Oscars! I better enjoy it, because it'll probably never happen again," said presenter Tyler Perry. He's right, unless Oscar voters are bigger Madea fans than we know.
The Dude: Best Actor winner Jeff Bridges accepted his statue for 'Crazy Heart' and waved it in the air. "This is honoring them as much as it is me," Bridges said of his late parents, actor Lloyd Bridges and his actress wife, Dorothy Dean Bridges, as he looked upward.
Sandra Bullock's Razzie Dazzle: First-time Oscar winner Sandra Bullock -- Best Actress winner for 'The Blind Side' -- also became the first star to win a Razzie (for her role in the comedy 'All About Steve') and an Oscar on the same weekend. In her charming, heartfelt speech, she asked Oscar voters, "Did I really earn this, or did I just wear you all down?" and made jokes about her famous Critics' Choice Awards kiss with fellow Best Actress nominee Meryl Streep, before getting emotional as she paid homage to her mom.
'Hurt' So Good: Not only did it win Best Picture, but 'The Hurt Locker's' director, Kathryn Bigelow, became the first woman to win the Best Director Oscar. "There's no other way to describe it; it's the moment of a lifetime," said Bigelow, whose Best Director and Best Picture competition included ex-husband James Cameron and his 'Avatar.'
The Last Word: "The show is now so long that 'Avatar' takes place in the past," co-host Steve Martin quipped as he prepared to close the Oscar telecast, which lasted three-and-a-half hours. Well, unless you're a Cablevision subscriber.