He is also famous for loudly swearing on live television while producing the 2004 Democratic National Convention. Following candidate Kerry's acceptance speech, the grand arena balloon drop didn't go according to plan: As many as 100,000 balloons failed to fall from the ceiling on cue. CNN aired live a long audio clip of Mischer yelling about confetti and balloons, as Van Halen's "Dreams" blasted on the loudspeakers. This tirade climaxed with a frustrated, "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU GUYS DOING UP THERE?!?!" which was heard by many of the 4 million viewers watching from home. (The money quote is at the 1:49 mark of the video below.)
The Federal Communications Commission subsequently received at least 25 complaints about Mischer's loud swearing.
3. The host of this year's Oscars was nearly killed by Al Qaeda.
Seth MacFarlane, Ted director and Family Guy creator, is hosting the show tonight. Both he and future Ted star (and would-be terrorist-puncher) Mark Wahlberg were scheduled to fly on the American Airlines flight that crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Wahlberg ended up flying on a different flight, and MacFarlane didn't board on account of his travel agent giving him the wrong departure time (also, he was hungover and overslept).
Here he is discussing this with Larry King:
4. Maggie Simpson, Ayn Rand, and the Academy Awards
This Oscar-nominated short is only Maggie Simpson's latest adventure at the Ayn Rand School For Tots, the school named for the ultra-libertarian writer. In the 1992 Simpsons episode "A Streetcar Named Marge," Maggie is enrolled in the same (fictitious) school. On a related note, Maggie has actually played an Ayn Rand character (a version of The Fountainhead's Howard Roark) in the 2009 anthology episode "Four Great Women and a Manicure." In that episode, the typically mute Maggie is voiced by Jodie Foster while reciting a big, Randian monologue taken from the courtroom scene at the end of The Fountainhead.
Now, watch the The Longest Daycare here. It's four and a half minutes well spent:
5. Nate Silver has weighed in.
The New York Times statistics big shot and presidential-election prognosticator Nate Silver is yetagain trying his hand at predicting the Oscar-night outcomes. He also crunched the data in 2009 and 2011, and has a success rate of 75 percent, which is, in his words, "not bad, but also not good enough to suggest that there is any magic formula for this."
Celebrity chef—and "Chef Smurf" from the 2011 film adaptation of The Smurfs—Wolfgang Puck is cooking for the expected 1,600 attendees at the official Oscar after-party, the Governors Ball. This marks the 19th consecutive time Puck done this. According to Puck, chicken pot pie will indeed be served at the party: "We have several of the Academy members, who have said, 'I don't care what George Clooney or Steven Spielberg eats, I want my chicken pot pie,'" Puck told reporters at a menu-preview event. Other culinary delights include chocolate candy molded in the shape of Oscar statues, smoked salmon in the shape of Oscars, and lamb shank.
Here's video of Puck on The Ellen DeGeneres Show this past week. He treats Ellen to a demonstration of vegan cooking:
7. How much does your average Oscar statuette weigh?
9:05: The men of The Avengers reunite onstage to introduce the nominees for cinematography and visual effects. They make awkward jokes, much like pretty much everyone else who presents awards at Oscar ceremonies. Claudio Miranda wins for Ang Lee's Life of Pi. Here's a photo of the award-winning Chilean cinematographer:
For visual effects, Life of Pi also wins: The team led by Bill Westenhofer.
9:20:Les Misérables wins its first award of the night: For makeup and hair.
9:22: Halle Berry introduces the James Bond video-clip-and-soundtrack tribute. The James Bond franchise recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. The tribute includes Shirley Bassey coming onstage to bust out the ridiculously catchy Goldfinger theme. Here's footage of Bassey singing the same song at the 2011 Classic BRIT Awards:
9:49: These films nominated for Best Documentary Features:
9:51: Amour wins the award for Best Foreign Language Film. It's the second movie from Austria to win the award.
9:56: A tribute to Oscar-winning musical films kicks off with Catherine Zeta-Jones reprising her role as showgirl Velma Kelly in the 2002 Oscar winner Chicago. In 2012, Zeta-Jones starred in the film adaptation of the jukebox musical Rock of Ages, in which she also did a kick-ass job belting out tunes.
Next up, Jennifer Hudson singing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from Dreamgirls. Then, the main cast from Les Misérables(including Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman, etc.) sings "One Day More." Here's my favorite "version" of "One Day More," courtesy of...
10:01: Hologram teddy bear Ted (from host Seth MacFarlane's Ted from 2012) just presented the award for sound mixing to Les Misérablesafter making jokes about Hollywood sex parties.
11:29: Argo wins Best Adapted Screenplay, and Django Unchained wins Best Original. Here's footage of Quentin Tarantino accepting another Academy Award for an original screenplay:
11:35: Ang Lee wins Best Director for Life of Pi. With how well Life of Pi doing tonight, I'm honestly starting to think the Academy is doing this to make up for failing to give Lee's 2005 Brokeback Mountain the Best Picture award. Stay tuned to see if this carries over to the Best Picture category this time around…
11:45: Jennifer Lawrence wins Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook. Woot.
11:51: Daniel Day-Lewis wins Best Actor for Lincoln. Dedicates his award to Abraham Lincoln and his mom, among others. Also, DDL cracked some epic jokes about Meryl Streep being Spielberg's original pick to portray Honest Abe.
11:52: Actor Jack Nicholson and First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama introduced this year's nominees for Best Picture. Actually. This actually happened. Tonight.
11:57: Michelle Obama declares Argo Best Picture of 2012. That's the ball game, folks. Footage:
12:00: "I want to thank Canada!"—Ben Affleck, during his victory speech. He also thanks his wife Jennifer Garner and others.
Asawin Suebsaeng is an interactive writing fellow at the Washington, DC, bureau of Mother Jones. For more of his stories, click here. You can also follow him on Twitter. Email tips, insights, and anger to asuebsaeng [at] motherjones [dot] com. RSS | Twitter