Head Oscar joke writer Bruce Vilanch will give you some good lines when you host the show, but do poorly and he’ll have some new ones for you. “I have to call James Franco and tell him the show’s over,” Vilanch told Vulture at the Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert premiere last night, “He doesn’t know. He took a nap and he woke up in class.” Though Vilanch was initially enthusiastic about Franco and Anne Hathaway hosting the ceremony due to their SNL experience, he admits they may have been out of their depth. “It’s outside of those guys’ comfort zones. 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…’” Sounds like he’d be happy to let Billy Crystal host in 2012.
Aside from inexperience, Vilanch chalks up Franco’s detached performance to a lack of preparation. “He has so many balls in the air, he didn’t get to town till Thursday before the show on Sunday. And so we e-mailed a lot. But we had a lot of meetings. He had a bunch of people who were writing for him…but it was him and Anne Hathaway, and they both had to be serviced. So there was a lot of communication beforehand. But he didn’t get there.” Don’t feel bad about assuming Franco might have been stoned, either—Vilanch was initially suspicious, too. “He wasn’t high. I was with him, and he wasn’t high. And I asked him, ‘Are you high, and can I have some?’ And he said no to both.” Maybe he knew he’d need all of it to get through, Bruce.
[Photo: James Franco]