0:02 THE OSCARS open strong with a sequence featuring such former hosts as Billy Crystal, Chris Rock, and…Mel Gibson with a bunch of dusty Mayans?
0:05 NO FAIR: Will Smith has a better seat than Rachel Weisz — and she’s actually nominated for an award.
0:19 GEORGE CLOONEY works Hattie McDaniel and Batman & Robin into his speech, all while working a fantastic tux. No wonder Hollywood likes to give him awards.
0:25 TOM HANKS is felled by a blow-dart-wielding clarinetist. Too bad they didn’t have that technology when Adrien Brody molested Halle Berry in 2003.
0:26 BEN STILLER prances on stage in a formfitting lime green body-suit. Kids, avert your eyes! Actually — everyone, avert your eyes!
0:33 WHY IS Loretta Lynn congratulating Nick Park for winning Best Animated Feature Film? Oh, wait — silly us, that’s just Helena Bonham Carter.
0:38 GAY MEN everywhere scream as Jake Gyllenhaal is shown cheering for Dolly Parton after her performance of ”Travelin’ Thru.”
0:59 ONE OF THE NARNIA Best Makeup winners has a handlebar mustache, prompting the question: Should this man be in charge of making others look good?
1:01 RACHEL MCADAMS feigns enthusiasm about hosting the Technical Oscars, a.k.a. Oscars for the Unglamorous.
1:06 WEISZ WINS but hardly gets to savor it as the announcer declares she’s ”known to audiences for her lead roles in The Mummy and The Mummy Returns.” Thanks, pal.
1:12 LAUREN BACALL haltingly introduces what quickly becomes the bane of our Oscar existence — the montage. Up first: film noir. Why? We’ve no idea.
1:16 THE FIRST of two parody Oscar smear-campaign commercials. This one with an eye-patch-wearing Brit who claims, ”Judi Dench took my eye out in a bar fight!”
1:20 CORINNE MARRINAN (Doc Short winner) thanks the Academy for seating her next to Clooney at the nominees’ lunch. Clooney does a flawless double take.
1:37 A MONTAGE (!) of ”issue” films like…Something’s Gotta Give. After all, it made it okay to talk about a taboo subject: horny old people.
1:56 JAKE GYLLENHAAL presents a montage but cracks up at his script. Listen, mister: Bruce Vilanch missed Celebrity Fit Club to write that. Honor him!
2:00 AFTER THE UMPTEENTH clip package, host Stewart declares, ”Holy crap! We’re out of clips!” Some 39 million people rejoice.
2:03 LILY TOMLIN salutes Robert Altman. If only Jane Fonda were there with Dolly Parton, we’d have a 9 to 5 reunion!
2:14 M. NIGHT SHYAMALAN’S American Express commercial debuts. For this gig, we’re guessing he saw dead presidents. Lots of them.
2:19 THERE’S ONLY ONE way to follow Altman: dancing hookers! Three 6 Mafia perform ”It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.”
2:24 IN THE NIGHT’S first burst of joy, Three 6 Mafia win and thank both the big J.C. and the big G.C. (that would be Jesus Christ and George Clooney).
2:27 JENNIFER GARNER almost wipes out on stage. Karmic payback for those who sat through Elektra, perhaps?