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The Oscars Afterglow: Inside the Academy Awards

Aired March 6, 2006 - 19:00:00   ET


A.J. HAMMER, CO-HOST: I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.
BROOKE ANDERSON, CO-HOST: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. TV`s only live entertainment news show starts right now.



JACK NICHOLSON, ACTOR: And the Oscar goes to...

ANDERSON: ... the Oscar Afterglow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We`ll have to do it all.

ANDERSON: Tonight, the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT staff working around the clock to bring you the hottest Oscar stories you haven`t heard.

REESE WITHERSPOON, BEST ACTRESS WINNER: One of the hardest things about this movie was talking in front of a large group of people.

ANDERSON: Why "Crash" Crashed "Brokeback`s" party.

TERRENCE HOWARD, ACTOR: To be the underdog and to win. That was the greatest elation that somebody could have.

ANDERSON: And where the stars went to party. We know because we were there with them.

GEORGE CLOONEY, BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR WINNER: I`m going to go in here. I`m going to drink. And then I`m going to call my parents.

ANDERSON: Plus, the fashion fabulous and the flops. And you know they won`t hold back: the divas of dress dish, Joan and Melissa Rivers live.

HAMMER: And of course, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was there every step of the way.

ANDERSON: The biggest stars.

DOLLY PARTON, SINGER: Here`s my buddy.

ANDERSON: The most memorable moments.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN, BEST ACTOR WINNER: I literally lost all control of my bowels up there.

ANDERSON: And what you thought of Jon Stewart`s jokes.

JON STEWART, HOST, COMEDY CENTRAL`S "THE DAILY SHOW": Bjork couldn`t be here tonight. She was trying on her Oscar dress and Dick Cheney shot her.

ANDERSON: Hollywood`s hottest night covered like nowhere else, "The Oscar Afterglow" on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT starts right now.


ANDERSON: Hi there, I`m Brooke Anderson, live in Hollywood.

HAMMER: I`m A.J. Hammer live in New York City.

Brooke, as you know, I literally just got off a plane from Hollywood, so I am in a unique position of being able to tell you that people from coast to coast, everyone is still talking about the big shock at the Oscars last night.

ANDERSON: Really? All right. Well, what an exciting night you and I had here. Yes, the unbelievable surprise, "Crash" beating "Brokeback Mountain" for best picture. It`s all I heard about afterwards and at the Oscar party I went to.

HAMMER: Everybody`s still buzzing about the parties, the fashion, the upsets. Well, the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT staff has been working throughout the day, all night long, round the clock to bring you the very best of the best moments. It`s our "Oscar Afterglow," and we`re going to begin with the "Crash" of the night.

I`m joined by SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas was also up with us through the wee hours and she`s live in Hollywood now. I left you late last night. I don`t think you`ve gotten any sleep, Sibila.

SIBILA VARGAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You`re absolutely right.

HAMMER: You look great. But I know you didn`t have it in your schedule to sleep.

VARGAS: No, not at all. But it seems that we`ve been up all night here. I know you -- I mean, that was pretty tough for you traveling, you know?

But people are still talking about the surprise ending to the big showdown between "Crash," the controversial drama on race relations, and "Brokeback Mountain," the gay cowboy film.


NICHOLSON: And the Oscar goes to "Crash."

VARGAS: It was the most shocking thing at the Oscars since, well, since Bjork`s swan dress. And "Crash`s" surprise best picture victory over "Brokeback Mountain" had "Crash`s" cast and creators rushing to tell SHOWBIZ TONIGHT just how shocked they are.

HOWARD: To be the underdog and to win, that was the greatest elation that somebody could have.

SANDRA BULLOCK, ACTRESS: Just to be there was the best, the best. The rest of it`s icing on the cake.

PAUL HAGGIS, DIRECTOR/CO-WRITER, "CRASH": I didn`t know whether to go up on the stage or not. I knew somebody was going to go, "Oh, no, no. We`re sorry. Big mistake. Sit back down."

VARGAS: It was no mistake. And now all of Hollywood is asking, how did this upset happen?

BULLOCK: A white person sees two black men walking towards her, and she turns and walks in the other direction, she`s a racist.

VARGAS: Was it "Crash" love or "Brokeback"-lash?

JAKE GYLLENHAAL, ACTOR: I wish I knew how to quit you.

ANNE THOMPSON, "THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER": A lot of people thought that "Brokeback Mountain" was the front runner.

VARGAS: It was for awhile. "Brokeback Mountain" was considered the runaway favorite on Oscar night. It won the Golden Globe and just about every other pre-Oscar best picture award in sight.

It`s even made more money at the box office than "Crash." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT has the numbers. "Brokeback" brought in $133 million worldwide, versus "Crash`s" $87 million.

But did the controversial story of an affair between two gay cowboys prove too hot for the academy?

THOMPSON: At the end of the day, "Brokeback Mountain" really was a gay love story, and it was messing with the iconic American western. It`s one of the great Hollywood genres. I have to assume that, at the end of the day, a lot of them weren`t that comfortable with giving the prize to "Brokeback Mountain."

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She sees two black guys that look like UCLA students strolling down the sidewalk, and her reaction is blind fear?

VARGAS: The academy may have been more comfortable with "Crash" because, like "Brokeback", it confronts different social issues. But unlike Brokeback, it takes place right in Hollywood`s backyard.

STEWART: Raise your hand if you were not in "Crash."

VARGAS: Jon Stewart may have had a point. With its large cast, it seems that most of Hollywood was either in or knew someone in "Crash." Like best actress winner Reese Witherspoon. She`s even married to a "Crash" cast member, Ryan Philippe. "Crash" was definitely the home favorite.

LEAH ROZEN, FILM CRITIC, "PEOPLE" MAGAZINE: Crash is set in Los Angeles. Most of the voters live in Los Angeles. It`s kind of a hometown movie.

VARGAS: And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can report that another reason for "Crash`s" win was a top-notch Oscar campaign.

THOMPSON: The distributor, Lion`s Gate, flooded the whole academy, the Screen Actors Guild, the British Academy. Everybody and their mother got a DVD of "Crash." I got several of them myself.

VARGAS: And the more people who see your movie and like it, means the more people vote for you at Oscar time.

MATT DILLON, ACTOR: I can`t look at you without thinking about the five or six more qualified white men who didn`t get your job.

VARGAS: But the reason for "Crash`s" victory may not be so complicated, especially if you spend time talking, and arguing about the movie. Simply put, people loved "Crash."

ROZEN: "Brokeback" was a terrific movie. I mean, you know, a lovely film. But those of us who liked "Crash," we didn`t just like it; we loved it. You were emotionally engaged in that film in a way you so rarely are at the movies.

VARGAS: And the stars of "Crash" tell SHOWBIZ TONIGHT that they felt loved too.

HOWARD: Out of everything I`ve done, I say that if I never did another film, "Crash" was the one film that made me feel like everything I`ve gone through in my life was worthwhile.


VARGAS: Altogether, "Crash" ended up with three Oscars. Ironically, so did "Brokeback Mountain." So it looks like they were spreading the love around.

HAMMER: Exactly. As Leah Rozen from "People" magazine had predicted they were spreading the love around. Thanks very much, Sibila. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas joining us live from our Hollywood news room.

ANDERSON: A.J., forget what Oscar viewers saw. It`s really what happened backstage, the stuff stars couldn`t say on stage that made the whole evening even so much more exciting. And only SHOWBIZ TONIGHT can bring you that.

Our intrepid staff searched through hours and hours of tape to show you the best moments, the highlights, if you will, of some of the big winners of Oscar night.


WITHERSPOON: Never thought I`d be here my whole life, growing up in Tennessee.

Oh, no. Oh, no. Just, oh, no. I hope I don`t have to say anything. I just, you know, it`s really hard for me. One of the hardest things about this movie was talking in front of a large group of people or singing in front of a large group of people.

I just found out my husband`s movie won the big award. So that`s so exciting.

HOFFMAN: Wow, I`m in a -- a category with some great, great, great actors.

You know, I literally lost all control of my bowels up there. The bark -- I did think maybe I`ll bark at the end for my friend or something. "Woof" or something. But I couldn`t think of -- I was lost. I was swimming in my head. So I was lucky to get out what I got out.

CLOONEY: The gentleman that I was playing in the movie, Bob Barnes, when I first took the role was sort of pudgy and, you know, out of shape. And I thought that was probably a good thing. And then he found out that the Hollywood guy was playing him, and he got in shape. Sort of screwed the whole thing up for me.

RACHEL WEISZ, BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS WINNER: You know before the lead up to it with the adrenaline, the baby was going crazy. Poor baby. I think it was from the adrenaline, kicking around. But -- once I went onto the stage, it`s -- I think it`s so overwhelming that I couldn`t even -- I couldn`t even. I couldn`t even hardly have told you my name.

ANG LEE, BEST DIRECTOR WINNER: I almost wanted to retire. I just felt I had it -- I felt I had hit the bottom of -- sort of my midlife crisis or something. And this movie teached (sic) me how to look at myself, how to manage myself and movie making again and enjoying making them.

NICHOLSON: And the Oscar goes to "Crash."

HAGGIS: Were you watching here? Because I don`t think I had a mind when they called that. It was just mush. So -- I don`t think. None of us expected this.

QUEEN LATIFAH, SINGER/ACTRESS: The Oscar goes to, "It`s Hard Out Here for a Pimp." Oh, my God!

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I started to run downstairs and run back and run all over the place. I was going to start running. People thought the police were going to be chasing me or something. I was just running, you know?


ANDERSON: Three 6 Mafia -- that`s the hip-hop group that won for best song -- said backstage that after this win they want to do more music for movies. They also said the past year has been like jumping on a spaceship and going past the moon to a planet that hasn`t even been discovered yet.

A.J., one of the members also told me he thought he was having a heart attack when their names were called. He was that excited.

HAMMER: If you were looking for your Oscar moment during the show last night, Three 6 Mafia, a great Oscar moment.

Well, coming up, we have much more "Oscar Afterglow" coverage here on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. Of course, we`ve got to deal with the fashion. We`ve got the red carpet fabulous and the flops, and we`ve got it with the duo that is definitely not afraid to speak their minds. Joan and Melissa Rivers join us live.

ANDERSON: Also, once the awards were handed out, the party just got started. The SHOWBIZ TONIGHT staff stayed up all night long. We`ll take you inside the hottest Oscar parties with the biggest stars. Still to come.

Plus, we`ve got this...


KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, BEST ACTRESS NOMINEE: This is a bit crazy. I mean, yes. I think crazy is really the only word.


HAMMER: I was having big fun chatting up Keira Knightley and a whole bunch of other celebs. I`m going to have some of my personal favorite moments from the roaring red carpet, coming up next on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT, TV`s only live entertainment news show. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

You know, the Oscars may be over, but the memories last forever. Here are some of my favorite moments from the red carpet. And there was definitely one guy that was on everybody`s mind last night.


KNIGHTLEY: This is a bit crazy. I mean, yes, I think crazy is really the only word. It`s fantastic. You get to dress up. You get to get a good dress and some nice jewelry and, you know, walk around and see lots of famous people. It`s crazy.

HAMMER: Anybody you`ve seen that you`ve been a little awestruck by?

KNIGHTLEY: How about everybody?

HAMMER: Who in particular?

KNIGHTLEY: Who in particular? Well, it`s always got to be George Clooney. And he was standing just right next to me.

HAMMER: Did you give him a hug?

KNIGHTLEY: No, I didn`t. I just went...

HAMMER: I encourage you to give him a hug.

KNIGHTLEY: Really? Just for you I`ll give him a hug. I`ll say it`s from you, actually. He`ll love that.

HAMMER: What`s your biggest prediction for the biggest surprise of the night? And I mean of any -- of any size.

WILL FERRELL, COMEDIAN: I think -- I think George Clooney`s going to win an award. And -- and break his hip.

HAMMER: All right, George.

CLOONEY: I`m ready.

HAMMER: Here you are, first time at the Academy Awards.

CLOONEY: Got my tie on.

HAMMER: What are your impressions? What do you think of this?

CLOONEY: Well, it`s much smaller than I thought it would be. And people really don`t dress up and they don`t look nice. It`s really nice. It`s actually pretty cool to be here.

HAMMER: It is pretty cool. More of a controlled chaos than some people might think.

CLOONEY: It`s very controlled. In fact there`s someone actually operating me as a puppet right now.

HAMMER: Really? Well that brings to mind Vice President Dick Cheney. What I`m saying is -- what I meant by that is that I`ve been looking for him over your shoulder. Of course, you had asked him to be your date for the night. My guess is they have answered your request. They just haven`t gotten the information out there yet.

CLOONEY: You know what the problem was? They had a security issue getting in, because he was coming with me. But then, you know, he didn`t really have clearance.

HAMMER: I understand.

CLOONEY: You can understand that.

HAMMER: Somehow they let you in. The vice president -- didn`t work out?

CLOONEY: You know, it`s a big year for me.


HAMMER: So Will Ferrell obviously broke out one of his two predictions right. You know, George Clooney did not break his hip, but he did win the award.

And it`s amazing to me George has given hundreds, maybe thousands of interviews. He still stays fresh and genuinely seems happy to be there.

ANDERSON: Doesn`t he? And obviously, George was not packing a shotgun, because he made it through security just fine.

HAMMER: Exactly. And they had plenty of the metal detectors set up, as you know.

ANDERSON: Yes they did. Security was tight.

OK. And continuing on the George Clooney theme, A.J., I got to talk with him just after his best supporting actor win for "Syriana." We chatted at the Governor`s Ball, which is the official Oscar after party and usually the first the stars head to, where he told me that winning is not all that easy.


ANDERSON: Was the moment when they called out your name as wonderful as you thought it could be?

CLOONEY: It is and it isn`t. You know, there`s this other moment. And you know, because there`s so many awards shows now. And so you actually get to become really good friends with, you know, all of the other actors in this category. And you sort of don`t want them not to be standing up there. You really don`t. You kind of feel like, it`s awkward.

ANDERSON: It felt like everyone was encouraging each other throughout this entire...

CLOONEY: It`s really true. You know, I`m an old jock so you get a little competitive every once in awhile. You kind of want to -- you get that thing where you go, "I want to beat somebody." But I didn`t -- you know, that never happened in this. It was always sort of like, oh, good. You know?


ANDERSON: He said everyone was encouraging each other. And A.J., he said he finally has put back -- put behind him that mullet that he used to have on "The Facts of Life." Finally.

HAMMER: Thank goodness. That`s done. All right, Brooke.

Well, let`s bring in our "Oscar Afterglow" panel now so we can just break it down and get into it, talk about everything that happened in the show last night.

Joining us from "Rolling Stone" magazine here, live in New York City, Peter Travers. Also joining me, Michelle Kung from "Entertainment Weekly." And out there on the West Coast in Hollywood, Tom O`Neil from, along with our own Brooke Anderson.

Let`s get into it. Let`s talk about Jon Stewart right now. Because there are some mixed reviews out there for Jon. I personally thought he did a terrific job, because he played the consummate host. And he did not try to do "The Daily Show" on the Academy Awards.

Michelle, what was your take?

MICHELLE KUNG, "ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY": Yes, I thought he was great, as well. He got in a lot of good one-liners. And he was quick to react to a lot of, like, the surprise winners like Three 6 Mafia.

HAMMER: It just felt good, didn`t it?

PETER TRAVERS, "ROLLING STONE": Well, I really like Jon Stewart. But the problem that I think is happening with Chris Rock last year and with him is that there`s a sense of being an outsider. And Jon Stewart`s like the guy you invite to your house for a party and he doesn`t like your friends or the furniture or anything else.

And so I felt in the room there, from watching it on TV, a sense of, "Ooh," you know? You`re laughing at us just a little bit. So the industry itself, I don`t know.

ANDERSON: I want to pose that question to Tom, as well. Because you told me on Friday you hated him as Oscar choice, really. Did he change your mind at all last night?

TOM O`NEIL, THEENVELOPE.COM: He didn`t do badly. He didn`t make any gaffes, but here are some of his reviews from the impartial press.

"Variety" said he was out of his element, looked awkward and slow. The Associated Press said he was tame. "Media Week" said he was lack luster. He got a good review from the "Washington Post."

I think -- you know, he just didn`t have that warmth and that inside Hollywood hug that he`s supposed to give from the stage.

ANDERSON: It`s a tough gig. I thought he progressively got better throughout.

O`NEIL: But they weren`t laughing at his jokes in the beginning. Did you notice? There was this uncomfortable...

ANDERSON: Towards the end, right. Right. Getting used to him. And I want to ask you, throughout the show people were getting up and encouraging people to go to the movie theaters. Did they at the Oscars have to do this? I mean does it play into the whole thing that movie theaters are really in trouble, that people just aren`t going?

O`NEIL: Right. And attendance is dropping 7 to 8 percent every single year. I wanted to shout back at the screen, "Yes, we wouldn`t have this problem if you guys stopped taking a third of the gross and $20 million salaries and gave theaters more than 10 percent of that ticket price."

ANDERSON: I bet you did shout back, actually.

HAMMER: Michelle what did you think about that? Because it did seem like they`re bringing a very -- what`s becoming sort of a public issue into this arena at the Academy Awards, making a big pitch. Hey, come to the movies. It`s kind of weird to make.

KUNG: yes. They were definitely trying to push the attendance. And I thought it was interesting that, even when they brought Jake Gyllenhaal out to -- you know, they trotted him out to give that speech about people should go to the movies. It`s like he couldn`t even keep a straight face when he was delivering that line.

TRAVERS: Well, they`re showing us. They say look at the clips. Look at the thrill of going to the movies. And there`s 30 million people watching it on TV. How is that going to show us the thrill of going to the movies?

HAMMER: And a lot of people. You bring in the clips, a lot of people might say those even drag the show down, even Jon Stewart.

TRAVERS: I`d even say that. I`m saying it right now. It happened.

HAMMER: Let`s talk about this, because last night, I didn`t get to watch the show as intently as the rest of the SHOWBIZ TONIGHT staff, who`s e-mailing back and forth. The Blackberries buzzing all night. "Oh, God, this is boring." Every year they talk about what a boring show it is. I don`t know. Peter, what`s your take on that?

TRAVERS: The clips that they used for the gay cowboy spoof I thought were great. And I thought the opening of the show was great.

But why did we need to see on a show that`s already too long a tribute to epics? A tribute to film noir? Russell Crowe comes out and says here`s a bunch of biopic clips.

So Jon Stewart had a great quip when he said that. "Send in your clips, everybody. We need more."

HAMMER: Were you bored?

KUNG: I feel as if, you know, they brought out that montage to reinforce the earlier point, where they`re just, like, look at these movies that you should be seeing on a big screen. But, you know, when they pile it on, it just works counter effectively.

ANDERSON: A.J. I want to turn the conversation to the big upset of the night, "Crash". Tom, you didn`t really predict this. You said it would be a tight race.

O`NEIL: Right, right, right.

ANDERSON: But you thought "Brokeback" would edge it out. Why do you think Oscar voters favored "Crash"?

O`NEIL: A couple of weeks ago an academy member said to me, "Have you ever been to a screening, an official screening, and look out over the room of all those white-haired old guys. They are not voting for `Brokeback Mountain`."

You know, a few weeks ago Tony Curtis, an academy member, said, "I`m not even going to watch that movie. And I know a lot of academy members who aren`t going to watch it."

I think there was a slight element here of homophobia.

But on the other hand, I think, too, that "Crash" was the Cinderella cinema story of the year, the little $6 million movie that became one of the top-grossing dramas, and it was a great movie and deserved to win.

ANDERSON: Wow. What do you think about that, A.J., Peter?

HAMMER: Actually, I think I`ve got to wrap it up here. And I know Peter has something to say.

TRAVERS: I was going to tell you...

HAMMER: Ten seconds.

TRAVERS: It`s over now. I can`t really do it. No, don`t push me.

HAMMER: OK, I won`t. Peter Travers, Michelle Kung, Tom O`Neil, Brooke Anderson out there in Hollywood. Thank you for joining us for our "Oscar Afterglow" panel.

ANDERSON: OK, so we`ve heard from the insiders. But what do you think about the 78th Annual Academy Awards? How did Jon Stewart do? And did the Oscars keep you interested or put you to sleep? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT took to the streets, and here`s what you had to say.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They didn`t give much time for the winners to have time to speak.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It was OK. I thought Jon Stewart did a good job. But other than that I was a little bored.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Jon Stewart`s the main man. Jon Stewart is a guy who, without a question can always anchor up and get in there and get the job done. And he did last night.


ANDERSON: Now we want to hear from you out there at home. It is our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT question of the day. The Oscars: did you like the show? Vote at Send us an e-mail, We`re going to read some of your thoughts later on in the show.

HAMMER: Well, the best song Oscar winner is "It`s Hard Out There for a Pimp." But it was hard to pimp out Jack Nicholson. Or was it? Well, Oprah Winfrey helped the Oscar-winning actor look for on Oscar date. That`s next.

ANDERSON: Plus, who sizzled and who fizzled with their red carpet fashion? Find out with the fashion police pair like no other, Joan and Melissa Rivers, live in a bit.

Plus we`ve also got this...


ANDERSON: Where do you go from here, afterwards?

CLOONEY: I`m going to go in here. I`m going to drink, and I`m going to call my parents.


HAMMER: George Clooney does some partying, and we were right there with him and the other stars all night long. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT gets in behind the velvet robe for the hottest Hollywood after parties. That`s coming up.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Stand by, a break, four, three, two, roll your break.


ANDERSON: All right. "O" is for "Oscar," and for "Oprah." The queen of TV talk took the stage at the Kodak Theater where the Academy Awards were held, for her annual post-Oscar special. Oprah`s best friend, Gail King, got behind the scenes at the Academy Awards, catching up with a slightly tipsy, and single, Jack Nicholson.


NICHOLSON: You are very good, thank you. I`d hug you, but I`m drinking.


Do you have a special date this evening? Are you looking for a special date?

NICHOLSON: Both, of course. A special date, you know?

KING: Shall I help you look?

NICHOLSON: Welcome to the draw, you know? What are you going to do about it?

KING: Would you like me to help you look? I`m very good at this.

NICHOLSON: Uh, yes. If you`re going to be interviewing all these people. Of course there`s, almost none of them I haven`t tried to interview myself. So you won`t do too well.


ANDERSON: Gail told Oprah she didn`t know what was in Jack Nicholson`s cup, but that he was feeling no pain last night.

HAMMER: So how about Jon Stewart`s performance? What was in his cup? Did the Oscar host make you laugh or did he make you leave your living room? We`re going to hear from Stewart himself.

Plus we`ve also got this.


WILLIAM H. MACY, ACTOR: She`s going to go home and take care of me. That`s what she really wants to do. She`s tired of being a big fat movie star.


ANDERSON: William H. Macy there talking his Oscar-nominated wife, Felicity Hoffman. We`ve got plenty more great moments from the after parties. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT up all night coming up.

HAMMER: And two ladies who always have something to say about fashion. We`re going to get the down and dirty scoop on the glam and the garish on this year`s Oscar red carpet with Joan and Melissa Rivers live. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be right back.


HAMMER: Welcome back to SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. It is 31 minutes past the hour. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. You`re watching TV`s only live entertainment news show.

HAMMER: Well, Brooke, I`ve made it back from Hollywood to New York. And as big a deal as the Academy Awards are, for a lot of people, just a warm-up for the parties. We got the governor`s ball. You got the Elton John party. You have the "Vanity Fair" party. And, of course, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was at all the parties. The good thing is we brought our cameras along. And that`s when the stars start to, well, shall we say, loosen up a little bit?

ANDERSON: That`s right. They let loose. They let their guard down a little bit, A.J.

HAMMER: So we`ll see...

ANDERSON: And in addition -- go ahead.

HAMMER: Well, I`m sorry. I just want to let people know that we`re going to see exactly what the stars had to say at these after parties, coming up in a bit.

ANDERSON: All the big parties. And in addition to the parties and the awards, the eye is also on fashion at the Oscars. We had a little bit of everything on the red carpet. And coming up, Joan and Melissa Rivers will join me live to talk Oscar fashion, the fabulous and also the flops. You know they never hold back, A.J.

HAMMER: You think?

ANDERSON: I`m sure of it.

HAMMER: I can`t wait.

Well, first we`re going to get tonight`s Oscar "Hot Headlines." SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas joins us live once again from Hollywood -- Sibila?

VARGAS: I thought Jessica Alba was absolutely hot last night. But unfortunately, the ratings were not. The very early ratings are in, and the Oscar ceremony didn`t do as well as it has in recent years.

Preliminary figures show about 30 million homes tuned in, which is down about 10 percent from last year`s ceremony. That`s according to information from the 55 largest TV markets.

Well, for the Susan Lucci of the Oscars, the 18th time, well, wasn`t a charm. Sound mixer Kevin O`Connell was nominated for "Memoirs of a Geisha" but he lost to the team behind "King Kong." It was his 18th Oscar nomination and his 18th loss. Yikes.

Just last week, he was on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. We were all pulling for him. Kevin, there`s always next year.

Well, lots of people really liked those fake ad campaigns for sound editing and best actress during the Oscars. In a Netflix survey, more than a quarter of the people who voted said the ads were the most memorable moment at the ceremony; 13 percent thought Ben Stiller`s presentation in the green suit was the most memorable.

And those are tonight`s "Hot Headlines." Back to you.

HAMMER: All right, Sibila, thanks so much. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT`s Sibila Vargas live in Hollywood.

And we have been asking you to vote online in our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day," asking, simply: The Oscars: Did you like the show?

Let us know. is where you go on the Web. You can also write to us at Your e-mails on the way in just a little bit.

ANDERSON: The Oscars are the biggest night of the year, not only for the actors, but also for the fashion. It`s the pinnacle where Hollywood and fashion meet. And to fashionistas, it`s one of the nights that matters the most. So which celebrities did it best? We brought in the big experts, Joan and Melissa Rivers, joining us live now in Hollywood with all the fashion scoop.

Thanks for being here. I know you`ve had a really long day talking fashion.


ANDERSON: Up all night, like the rest of us.

J. RIVERS: And then we end tonight at 8:00 with our fashion review. So we just are going all day.

ANDERSON: Keep going, going, going. And I want to talk about some of the people that hit the red carpet, got a lot of attention. Charlize Theron, one of the best actress nominees, mixed reviews on this.

MELISSA RIVERS, FASHION EXPERT: Well, the thing was the dress in person looked completely different than it did on TV. First of all, it looked black. It was dark green.

ANDERSON: Dark green.

M. RIVERS: It just was one of those dresses...

J. RIVERS: It was gorgeous.

M. RIVERS: ... that just didn`t work on TV.

ANDERSON: She was kind of channeling old Hollywood glamour with this look, too.

J. RIVERS: Oh, and I thought -- she walked past me, I said, "You win. It`s over." She was so structured, and beautiful, and elegant. And then it looked on camera, when she went to present...

ANDERSON: How do you ensure that it translates?

J. RIVERS: Well, you should get a stylist that checks it out. Again, a lot of these -- every lady now has a stylist, which is one of the reasons they`re so boring after a while. And, I mean, everybody looks great now. Ho-hum, ho-hum. And I think her stylists should be shot dead. It looked like she was hiding a goiter.

ANDERSON: Not a lot of risk-takers tonight. Charlize did kind of take a risk there with this one. Dolly Parton...

J. RIVERS: God love her.

ANDERSON: ... I thought looked lovely in pink.

M. RIVERS: Oh, wonderful. And one of the things that really struck us especially about Dolly is one of the few that you know she picked out her dress.

J. RIVERS: And she looks unique. She doesn`t look like everybody else. She`s not a cookie-cutter.

M. RIVERS: And her personality came through. One of the problems that I think we`re starting to see on the red carpet is all these women are so styled within an inch of their lives. You could almost just -- they`re all tall. They`re all beautiful. They`re all thin. You can just take the faces and swap out the dresses like paper dolls.

J. RIVERS: But not Dolly.

M. RIVERS: Not Dolly. That`s her personality. You know that`s Dolly.

ANDERSON: What about Jessica Alba, one of the presenters? She looked -- she resembled an Oscar statue, didn`t she?

M. RIVERS: Oh...

J. RIVERS: She was glorious in that cloth of gold, absolutely. And not a movie star, but you didn`t care because she was a movie star. I mean...

ANDERSON: She looked like a movie star. How glamorous. What a body, too.

J. RIVERS: Look at this. Yes, but they`re all so -- they`re all stick thin. They`re all a little too thin. I liked the Latino ladies, because they had breasts and butts.

ANDERSON: Salma Hayek and Jennifer Lopez looked incredible, healthy.


J. RIVERS: Healthy, and there`s a Jewish word, "zaftig. And, yes, very curvy and beautiful.

M. RIVERS: Well, the joke is, you know, in the real world, they`re both very thin women. It`s just compared to everyone else, who`s really -- a lot of them are borderline too thin, where it`s uncomfortable. They suddenly look like big and curvy, where you stand next to them and they`re still 12 pounds.

ANDERSON: They`re very slender in person.



ANDERSON: Let`s talk about Amy Adams, one of the best supporting actress nominees. Carolina Herrera...

J. RIVERS: Carolina Herrara. And Carolina gave her the dress, but lent her the earrings, which I thought were hilarious.

M. RIVERS: Yes. They were from Mrs. Herrara`s own collection.

ANDERSON: Her personal jewelry box.

M. RIVERS: Her personal jewelry, which just makes you kind of want to weep that she can design cloths that look like that and own earrings that large. I loved it. And I loved the fact that she went for an elegant rather than trying to compete with these glamour girls. And she looks like a beautiful actress, not a glamour-puss.

J. RIVERS: And when was the last time you saw a ball gown with pockets? How great. You can keep your mints in there...

ANDERSON: I don`t know that I`ve ever seen that. It`s unique.

J. RIVERS: Keep the make-up in their, your little lipstick in there.

ANDERSON: Compact everything, that`s right.

J. RIVERS: You have Botox injection, to look surprised.

ANDERSON: I wonder if Amy Adams had the Botox injection.

Let`s talk Reese Witherspoon, the winner for best actress. She had been wearing short dresses throughout the awards season. She finally did the longer dress. What did you think?

M. RIVERS: I think she saved it all for the Oscars. You know, Reese has such a great personal style. This is again one that know what works on her. She`s always elegant. She`s always ladylike, and she pulled it off again.

J. RIVERS: And it was so beautiful. It was like a bride`s dress, little tucking, and bows, and roses. It was absolutely stunning, kind of the thing you would have seen Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn in, a throw- back dress.

ANDERSON: And her hair and make-up looked beautiful, as well.

J. RIVERS: Yes. Well, as Melissa says, when you die, this is the picture...

M. RIVERS: ... they`re going to run with your obituary, you holding your Oscar, so...

ANDERSON: So you want it to look good.

M. RIVERS: So you want to look good.

ANDERSON: What about the men? George Clooney, Jack Nicholson, they looked dapper in the tuxes, didn`t they?

M. RIVERS: Yes. George Clooney, George Clooney, George Clooney.

J. RIVERS: And I loved Ludacris. I thought he looked great, because he`s a crossover. And I thought that he looked terrific.

M. RIVERS: You know what I loved about Ludacris was he sort of kept his personality, yet still looked elegant and appropriate. I don`t think I would have wanted to see that tuxedo maybe on George Clooney, but on Ludacris it was perfect.

ANDERSON: It was perfect for Ludacris. And what about, say, Nicole Kidman and her friend, Naomi Watts?

J. RIVERS: I thought Nicole usually looks better. I thought she looked subdued. She looked lovely. She always looks -- you`re tall, you weigh three pounds, and you`re gorgeous.

ANDERSON: It`s hard to do it with the pale skin, too, and the pale colors sometimes.

J. RIVERS: Yes, she does a lot of pale against pale. And I just -- I thought she looked beautiful, but she could have looked a little more showbiz.

M. RIVERS: But again, this is a woman who stops the presses every time she walks out. So when she goes for just beautiful rather than -- everyone goes, "What`s wrong with it?"

ANDERSON: Right, so statuesque. I know. All right...

J. RIVERS: But you should go for...

ANDERSON: Right. Well, you guys are the experts. And we appreciate your sharing your time with us tonight, Joan and Melissa Rivers. Thank you so much.

M. RIVERS: Thank you.

J. RIVERS: And you look lovely. And your gown looked beautiful with your eye color.

ANDERSON: Why, thank you. Ah, from the experts, I appreciate it.

HAMMER: Well, now we know how the fashion rated. How about the host? How did Jon Stewart do? The reviews are in. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT gets the good word from fans, critics, and Stewart himself, coming up next.

Also on the way...


ANDERSON: What do you go from here after winning?

GEORGE CLOONEY, ACTOR: I`m going to go in here. I`m going to drink, and then I`m going to call my parents.


ANDERSON: A little drinking, a little dancing. The Oscar afterglow lasted well into the night. And we have your ticket to the hottest Oscar after-parties where we caught up with all of the big stars.

HAMMER: Plus, one of the unscripted moments that raised some eyebrows. We`re going to tell you how the producer of "Crash" made a little mistake in her acceptance speech and what she said about it afterward.


ANDERSON: The Oscars were such a big night in Hollywood. And as fun as the actual show was, many of the stars I spoke with were really looking forward to the big parties. Now, we know you would have loved to go. Unfortunately, security was extremely tight. I was lucky enough to get behind the velvet robe, so here is your inside look.


ANDERSON (voice-over): They hugged, they kissed, they posed, and, most of all, they took a load off. SHOWBIZ TONIGHT takes you inside with the a-list stars as they celebrated the biggest night in Hollywood.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you guys?

ANDERSON: All the stars looked great last night. Check out how dapper first-time Academy Award-winner George Clooney is.

(on camera): You`re a man in high demand.

(voice-over): Clooney won the best supporting Oscar for his role in the film, "Syriana."

(on camera): Where do you go from here, after winning...

CLOONEY: I`m going to go in here. I`m going to drink, and then I`m going to call my parents.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Aw, such a nice guy.

Three big parties last night in Hollywood. The traditional first stop after the Oscars, the governor`s ball, then the "Vanity Fair" party.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It`s going to be hot.

ANDERSON: And finally, Elton John`s bash to benefit his AIDS foundation.

ELTON JOHN, MUSICIAN: We get to see lots of celebrities, as well, people you haven`t met, and it`s very exciting.

ANDERSON: Here`s Lindsay Lohan at Elton John`s party. In true celebrity style, she also showed up at "Vanity Fair," where SHOWBIZ TONIGHT cameras were rolling as she ran by to pose for photographers.

Jennifer Lopez also did some party-hopping with husband Marc Anthony. Why not show off that dress? She looked absolutely gorgeous in green.

John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston tell us the after-parties are great because they give everyone a chance to rub elbows.

JOHN TRAVOLTA, ACTOR: It`s your old friends getting together all in one room.

ANDERSON: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was right there as some stars started catching up with each other before they even walked in.

FELICITY HUFFMAN, ACTRESS: This woman, she`s amazing.

DOLLY PARTON, SINGER: Oh, my god. Here`s my buddy.

CEDRIC THE ENTERTAINER, ACTOR: This is my man right there.

ANDERSON: It was a long night for host Jon Stewart, who had fun with reporters before heading into the "Vanity Fair" party and taking a well- deserved break.

JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": I`m happy it`s over.

ANDERSON: Here`s best actress nominee Keira Knightley looking phenomenal in her plum dress. We caught her toasting friends at the governor`s ball. She could only cheers, though. At 20, she`s not old enough to have a drink yet. But who needs a drink when you get to party with the biggest names in the business?

KEIRA KNIGHTLEY, ACTRESS: Very ready to have fun now. Yes, no, I really want to dance, but apparently I can`t dance here, so they`re going to take me somewhere else to dance afterwards. I`ve got my dancing dress on; I`m ready to go!

ANDERSON: Check out how the crowd goes wild when "Walk the Line`s" best actor nominee Joaquin Phoenix walks in. He was followed by "Brokeback Mountain" stars Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams. The actors, who are also a couple, were enjoying a well-deserved night out. Their parents were watching their new baby.

Grammy award-winner John Legend provided the entertainment for the folks over at the Elton John party. After performing, he hopped in his limo and hit the "Vanity Fair" bash.

JOHN LEGEND, MUSICIAN: It`s exclusive. You know, it`s hard to get in.

ANDERSON: John wasn`t there solo.

LEGEND: I got a few people with me. My publicist is with me. She looks beautiful.


ANDERSON: And it`s not always easy to snag these interviews at these after-parties. In fact, one reporter -- basically she was basically down on her knees in front of Philip Seymour Hoffman and said, "Listen, I will lose my job if you don`t do an interview with me." And, A.J., after she said that, he did decide to stop and conduct an interview with her. So it worked.

HAMMER: It did work. And, of course, nobody forces the stars to go to these parties. In fact, if you win an Oscar, there`s really only one thing you`re absolutely obligated to do. You got to go in front of millions of people on live television and thank everyone before the music plays you out.

Well, you couple that with all the adrenaline, all the nerves, and things can get a little blurry up there on the stage. That`s actually exactly what happened to "Crash" producer Cathy Schulman while accepting her best picture Oscar. Now, see if you can pick up where she goofed.


CATHY SCHULMAN, PRODUCER, "CRASH": Thank you, also, to our financiers, Andy Reimer. Thanks to everybody. Thank you to my husband, to my wife, and to all of our families.


HAMMER: Were you paying attention there? Now, the funny thing is she didn`t even know she messed up until it was brought up backstage.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kathy, I wanted to ask you. You said on stage, "I want to thank my husband and my wife." Can you elaborate a little bit about what that means?


SCHULMAN: Did I really say that? I mean to say my husband and my daughter, Leah. If I said that, it just proves how totally nervous I was. Oh, my god. Did I really say that?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was sitting with her husband. He said to me, "Who`s her wife?"


HAMMER: You see, so, Brooke, in a year with all these sexual themes going on, I think people were sort of wondering, what could possibly be going on here? But it was just -- she just made a mistake. It was stream of consciousness.

ANDERSON: I think it was the loud music distracting her while she was trying to give her acceptance speech. It`s good that everybody had a good laugh out of that one.

HAMMER: It`s funny though.

ANDERSON: That`s right.

OK, this year`s Oscar host, Jon Stewart, told his wife that, if he were ever asked to host the Oscars, to please convince him to say no, but looks like she didn`t have much luck. So how did "The Daily Show" host fare as primetime Oscar host? SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was all around town asking the a-listers, the analysts, the fans, and even Jon Stewart himself for reviews.


JON STEWART, HOST, "THE DAILY SHOW": Thank you all very much. I`m so excited to be here. Good evening, everybody, ladies, gentlemen, Felicity.

ANDERSON (voice-over): In a year where Oscar movies were all about taking risks, so was this year`s choice of Oscar host: the skewering late- night cable host, Jon Stewart. And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT wanted to know, did his jokes deliver?

OPRAH WINFREY, TALK SHOW HOST: Everybody`s saying what a great job you did. The reviews are in.

STEWART: Oh, that`s nice.

ANDERSON: Just hours ago on Oprah, Stewart gave himself a review.

STEWART: We did so much work and so much preparation, I didn`t want to come out here and just screw it all up. So I was really happy that we got out and accomplished what I thought we wanted to do.

ANDERSON: Last night, Stewart was not afraid to add his trademark political humor into the mix.

STEWART: The Oscars is really, I guess, the one night of the year where you could see all your favorite stars without having to donate any money to the Democratic Party.

ANDERSON: Some of it fell flat.

STEWART: Do you think that, if we all got together and pulled this down, democracy would flourish in Hollywood?

ANDERSON: But other jokes had us laughing out loud.

STEWART: Bjork couldn`t be here tonight. She was trying on her Oscar dress and Dick Cheney shot her.

ANDERSON: SHOWBIZ TONIGHT was at the hottest parties all over town, asking the stars what they thought about this year`s host. At the governor`s ball, "Munich`s" Eric Bana told me he was impressed.

(voice-over): ... stand-up comedy, how do you think Jon Stewart did?

ERIC BANA, ACTOR: I think he did really well. You know, I actually wish they had given him a little more leeway and a little more time, but I think he did a really great job.

ANDERSON: And when I talked to Steve Carell, he immediately praised his former boss, Jon Stewart.

STEVE CARELL, ACTOR: I thought it was great. I thought Jon did an excellent job.

ANDERSON: Funny at the expense of many celebrities.

STEWART: Right now around the world, we are being watched by hundreds of millions of people, nearly half of whom are in the process of being adopted by Angelina Jolie.

We`ve got the man, Mr. George Clooney, triple nominee. Two of the nominations for "Good Night, and Good Luck," which is not just Edward R. Murrow`s sign-off. It`s also how Mr. Clooney ends all his dates.


ANDERSON: But the celebrities we spoke to gave the thumbs up. At Elton John`s Oscar fest, John Leguizamo gave a rave review.

JOHN LEGUIZAMO, ACTOR: I thought Stewart did great, man. I love him. I love his show, and I`m so glad he stepped up. He did that whole, why didn`t Bjork show up? Because she went hunting with Dick Cheney.

ANDERSON: George Lopez was just as supportive.

GEORGE LOPEZ, COMEDIAN: You know, most times, comedians never really root for comedians to do well, but when you get to host the Oscars, then the gloves stay on.

ANDERSON: But taking his gloves off, "Newsweek`s" Sean Smith. He told SHOWBIZ TONIGHT Stewart didn`t make the grade.

SEAN SMITH, SENIOR WRITER, "NEWSWEEK": The joke about Angelina Jolie adopting all those kids was just sort of a pretty mainstream, easy, silly kind of joke for him. It wasn`t as smart as he usually is. And I didn`t see, like, that needs huge bits of laughter to kind of -- huge, you know, gales of laughter sort of lift up the room. And he never kind of got the momentum lifting everything up.

ANDERSON: Just moments after he stepped off the stage, SHOWBIZ TONIGHT caught up with the host himself.

STEWART: I enjoyed myself very much. I`m happy it`s over.

ANDERSON: But we wanted to know if he killed the crowd, so we went back to the Kodak Theater today to get fans to give us the grade.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Definitely an A. We thought he was excellent, very funny.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he was probably a B. I think he`s even better on Comedy Central.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I give it an A-plus. He was fabulous.

ANDERSON: And in the end, it`s really all about what the viewers think.

WINFREY: Would you do it again?


STEWART: You know, it was such a great experience and I don`t know.


ANDERSON: Lots of audience applause for Stewart on Oprah. And he told Oprah that he wasn`t nervous at all, that he is much more nervous in front of his own audience. Why? He says he doesn`t really care if movie stars like him, but he feels a responsibility to the people who watch his show.

HAMMER: Well, we`ve been asking you to vote online on our SHOWBIZ TONIGHT "Question of the Day." A simple one tonight: The Oscars: Did you like the show?

Here`s the vote so far. Pretty straight down the middle: 53 percent of you say yes; 47 percent of you say no.

Got a bunch of e-mails, too. We heard from Peggy. She lives in South Carolina. And Peggy writes, "The Oscars need a spark. They have gotten so boring, not fun to watch anymore."

We also heard from Joanne in Illinois. She writes, "Jon Stewart was great. At first, I had my doubts, but he really made me a fan."

You can hop online if you`d like to continue to vote by going to

And SHOWBIZ TONIGHT will be right back.


HAMMER: Time now to see what`s coming up on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT tomorrow. A fascinating new reality show called "Black.White." With the help of a makeup artist, a black family and a white family trade races to find out what it`s really like to live in someone else`s shoes. We`ll have members of both families joining us here tomorrow to share some of what they learned.

Also tomorrow, Dennis Haysbert. The president from "24" is back on TV fighting the bad guys in a new action drama, "The Unit." Dennis Haysbert joins us live tomorrow for the interview you will see only on SHOWBIZ TONIGHT.

OK, I officially declare it the end of award season. It`s done.

ANDERSON: It is the end.

HAMMER: And that is it for SHOWBIZ TONIGHT. I`m A.J. Hammer in New York.

ANDERSON: All right. I`m Brooke Anderson in Hollywood. Thanks, everyone, for watching, and stay tuned for the latest from CNN Headline News.


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