I broke into laughter today when I read (in the Los Angeles Times) that star caliber Oscar presenters would be asked to by-pass the red carpet so that their (eventual, surprise) appearance on camera would help attract more viewers. Having m.c’d the arrivals on the red carpet for 50 years (I retired my mike three years ago) I can only say you’d need an escape-proof contraption to keep arriving celebrities away from the camera or mike-carrying pre-show interrogators on the red carpet–with a few bashful exceptions, of course.
For five decades publicists like Jerry Pam and Julian Meyers have generously donated their services to escort endless troops –nominees, eventual presenters and simply invitees, up to my station– as well as to others– to get space throughout the international outlets. . Julian, for one, believes the at-home- global-audiences are more interested in learning the winning outcome of the product on Oscar night, rather than the exhibit of “gowns or jewelry” which the participants are wearing. Pam reminds me “it’s a three-and-a-half hour show–and as a result, it’s boring because there’s so much the audiences care nothing about.” But there have always been attempts by the Oscar shows’ creators to lure viewers to stay on the Oscars tv screen with every single magnet. Remember producer Allan Carr’s 1989- Jeff Margolis-directed Oscar show opening with “Snow White” arriving into the Shrine after I introduced her on the red carpet? Poor producer Allan Carr–he never recovered from the brickbats tossed at him. Should Snow White have arrived by a side entrance?