The BBC’s Entertainment reporter Ben Sutherland said that Jon Stewart ”shone” in his duties as Oscar emcee. Matthew Gilbert of The Boston Globe writes, ”He’s not musical, but he’s versatile enough to swing smoothly between jokes about politics, Hollywood, new media, and, most importantly, hair.”
But Stewart wasn’t always regarded so glowingly by the press. The Hollywood Reporter’s Ray Richmond woke up at an ungodly hour Sunday morning to defend Jon Stewart as host of the 2006 Oscars against the charges — especially from WashPo television critic Tom Shales — that he wasn’t funny. From Reliable Sources:
”Ray Richmond: … (The Academy) brought him back because he was good.
”Jon Stewart was fine. He did a great job on the show last time. I have no idea why there’s this lingering idea of, oh my gosh, he screwed up, he bombed.”
More after the jump …
”Anybody who’s a visitor from the East, from New York, is automatically considered an invader in Hollywood’s territory. And you have to, you know, kowtow and kiss their ring. Kind of like David Letterman, like Chris Rock, who did legitimately not do as well.
”But after a little bit of uneasiness, Jon Stewart did fine last time. And, you know, he is not the beloved figure that Billy Crystal is, but Billy Crystal is almost 60. He’s your daddy’s Oscars.
”If they want to try to get a new generation of Oscar viewers, they can’t keep bringing Billy back. So, at least Jon Stewart is the kind of guy they can get young viewers. They already flock to him on The Daily Show. And, you know, he’s already college student tested.
”He’s only 45. He’s the future.”
Not to be outdone, Tom Shales rated Jon Stewart’s performance last night as ”a fair-to-middling job, mostly middling ..”
Read Shales’ full review of the 80th annual Academy Awards here.