The hands-down funniest bit during the Oscars was Al Gore‘s political non-announcement. The ballroom burst into laughter and applause when the music drowned him out. So when I ran into Oscar writer Bruce Vilanche at the Governors Ball, I congratulated him on the hilarious moment. But he told me that the idea for having Gore get "played off" with the too-long-a-speech music actually came from Gore’s daughter Karenna Gore Schiff, who’s a comedy writer for sitcoms.
"I had written that Leo would say ‘Are you sure there isn’t anything you want to announce’ and Gore would say,’I don’t do sequels.’ But Karenna came up with the idea of playing them off and she was the only person who could pitch that to him. If I had suggested, "Look, we want to play you off and make you look like an idiot,’ he would have laughed but his people would have had me taken out and shot. But he bought it and I told him, ‘If you underplay it a bit, the audience may believe, just for a moment, that you might be actually be going to annouce something. And then there will be an explosion.’ He has pefect timing. And he really got into it. During rehearsals he was doing a lot of acting."
And about that Meryl Streep moment….
"We had backups," explained Vilanche. "There was Script if Meryl is in her seat and Script if Meryl is not in her seat. We had no clue who was going to win. I had hunches but it was a complete horserace."
Outside the Governor’s Ball, Al congratuated Melissa Etheridge on her Best Song Oscar win and her "great speech" while his wife Tipper snapped photos of Melissa and Tammy Lynn holding their Oscar before dancing up a storm with "Truth" producer Lawrence Bender. I think they were doing the twist, the mashed potatoes and the hully gully, but who can be sure.
Photo Credits: Tammy Lynn, Melissa, Al and Tipper, who cut a mean rug last night with Lawrence Bender a the Governors Ball.