Wednesday, February 29, 2012

What's so FUNNY, Billy Crystal?

One of the things that makes watching the Oscars in another language an unfortunate experience is that all the jokes that the host makes are translated to the point where they make no sense or as the title of a wonderful movie that dealt with such situations, the message gets Lost in Translation.

At this year's 84th Academy Awards, Billy Crystal - who had hosted the show 8 times in the past - made a lot of jokes. But I bet around the world a lot of people were wondering, "What's so funny, Billy Crystal?"

So for this post, we're providing Mr. Crystal's opening monologue with the transcript and highlighting the punchline (funny end or remark) of each joke and an explanation in blue.

Thank you, thank you. That was extremely loud and incredibly close. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close -- that’s how my relatives are watching this show (he's making fun of his family with the title of a nominated movie). This is my ninth time, ninth time hosting the Oscars. So tonight just call me War Horse (another nominated movie).
We’re here at the beautiful Chapter 11 theater (Chapter 11 is not the name of the theater, but a technical term used to describe bankruptcy; the real theater is called the Kodak Theater, the famous company that recently declared bankruptcy) to celebrate a Hollywood tradition that not only creates memories for the ages but also breeds resentment that lasts a lifetime (obviously describing the feelings of those who don't win, perhaps with a little exaggeration... or not) . We’re part of a great industry, a great industry. Movies have always been able to provide entertainment whenever we need a place to get away from it all.
It’s like that great speech that James Earl Jones (a famous actor) made in Field of Dreams (a famous movie about baseball co-starring James Earl Jones. Mr. Crystal imitates the way this actor said the word "baseball" perfectly, many times. Mr. Jones has one of the most recognizable voices in movie history: Darth Vader, The Lion King and many others had his powerful and commanding voice ). It’s that great speech when he talked about baseball. He said in that movie that baseball has always been there during good times and hard times, and just as people turn to baseball, the movies have always been there for us. They’re the place to go to laugh, to cry, to question, to text (referring to the more current habit of people using cell phones to send text messages from the movie theater). So tonight, enjoy yourselves because nothing can take the sting of the world’s economic problems like watching millionaires present each other with golden statues (sarcastic way to look at the Oscars, in view of the world's difficult economy and the fact that Hollywood millionaires are probably not seeing the worse part of it).
So English Users, we hope that you got it and that - whether you found it funny or not - at least understood why at least for many at the 84th Academy Awards, Billy Crystal was funny.

By the way, the Song "Man or a Muppet" from the movie The Muppets that we posted last month, was the winner of an Academy Award for Best Original Song at the 84th Academy Awards. How did we know? We didn't. ;-)