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Stewart monologue pays tribute to past hosts

Jon Stewart?s poked jokes at himself at the opening speech. He also narrated humourous incidents from Brokeback Mountain.

india Updated: Mar 06, 2006 09:17 IST
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In an opening monologue bookended by two filmed pieces, comic Jon Stewart poked fun at himself with the help of past Academy Awards hosts and made the inevitable

Brokeback Mountain

and Dick Cheney jokes.

The Daily Show host was plainly nervous, his bearing more subdued than on his Comedy Central show, and it did not help to be faced by largely stone-faced stars.

That didn't mean he didn't get some laughs.

Pop singer Bjork, famed forever for her swan gown at a past Oscars ceremony, could not be here, he said. "She was trying on her Oscar dress and Dick Cheney shot her," Stewart said, referring to the vice president's quail hunting mishap when he accidentally shot a fellow hunter.

He called the Academy Awards one of the few nights of the year where people could see so many Hollywood stars without having to donate to the Democratic party.

"This is the first time many of you ever voted for a winner," he said.

The Oscar-nominated Capote showed Americans that not all gay people are cowboys, he said. "Some are actually effete New York intellectuals," he said.

Stewart showed a clever film montage to mock people uncomfortable about the gay cowboys in Brokeback Mountain. The clips of buff, smiling men,many unshirted,showed "gay" moments in classic westerns.

Stewart also recalled classic host Bob Hope,who used self-deprecating jokes about his own movie career,by mentioning his role in "Death to Smoochy." Stewart's opening film, a "dream" sequence, also gently referred to his status: some critics felt Stewart was not a big enough star for the job. Past hosts Billy Crystal, Chris Rock, David Letterman and Steve Martin all appeared, pretending to turn down invitations to host again.

"Oh, hell no," said Whoopi Goldberg, slamming a door in the cameraman's face.