Oscar Comedy Writer Vilanch Faults Franco; Franco Faults Back
Bruce Vilanch, who has written jokes for the hosts of countless awards shows for 20 years, has criticized James Franco for not taking his role as host of this year's Oscars telecast seriously. In an interview with New York magazine's Vulture blog, Vilanch joked that he suspects Franco took a nap. "I have to call James Franco and tell him the show's over," he remarked. "He doesn't know." Vilanch said that he thought that the real problem may have been that Franco didn't realize "how big a deal it is to do it" and that he simply had "so many balls in the air" that he was unable to devote sufficient time to planning and rehearsals. But another problem may simply have been that hosting the Oscars may be "outside the comfort zones" of actors like Franco and Anne Hathaway. "The only people who know how to host those shows are people who get up onstage every night and say, 'Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. A funny thing happened ... '" A short time later, Franco posted a photo of himself and Vilanch presumably taken backstage at the Oscars. He drew a comic-book bubble coming out of Vilanch's mouth with the words, "James f****d up the Oscars. Trust me, I know comedy. I mean, come on, I write for Bette Midler." He later removed the post -- but on the Internet, nothing is ever permanently removed."