Mr. Wow Blog
James Franco’s Oscar Aftermath
3:55 pm | February 28, 2011

Author: Mr. Wow | Category: Point of View | Comments: 27

The “127 Hours” star gave one of his more … interesting … performances as co-host of last night’s Oscar ceremony. Mr. wOw ponders some possible motivations

James Franco is a handsome young man with an interesting and eclectic career. He was nominated for an Academy Award this year. He appeared onstage Sunday night co-hosting the annual Oscar event with Anne Hathaway. This was not a good career move. Mr. Franco appeared to be ill or bored or … something. He will not be asked back.

But imagine Mr. wOw’s shock on Monday morning, tuning into MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to hear that Mr. Franco was “stoned” onstage. Yes, indeed. “How stoned was James Franco?!” That was Joe Scarborough’s jolly refrain for about two hours. Everybody on Joe’s show seemed to agree and nod and imply or say right out that James Franco was under some substance influence. The word “bong” was thrown around.

It was interesting that all these people caught the red-eye back from L.A. — after having been with James Franco while he got stoned — in time to tattle on “Morning Joe.” Well, they had to be there, right? They must have been.

Mr. wOw has no idea what ailed Mr. Franco. If indeed anything did. Perhaps he is simply devoid of personality in front of a live audience? Maybe he was “stoned.” Maybe. But he could have been negatively influenced by a lot of other things. Gastric issues, a headache, bad personal news. He wasn’t slurring or staggering. He was just kinda “not there.”

But I found it stunning on a morning news show — in between talk on Libya and American union issues — that it would be taken for granted and basically announced that an actor on the Oscar telecast was “stoned.” I hope for MSNBC’s sake that Mr. Franco was three sheets to the marijuana wind and is now laughing about his three hours in the world spotlight. Otherwise, if Mr. Franco was A-OK — just a lousy live performer — he and his lawyers might have an invigorating conversation with Joe S. and the high-ups over there.

After all, Mr. Franco’s grandmother was in the audience. (An awkward bit, but still…)

Dear Joe, Mika, Willie and gang — try to stick to giving us your juvenile, noisy take on important current events. Gossipy assumptions presented more or less as fact can bite you in the ass.

Just saying.

P.S.  Although, now that I think of it — clever Mr. Scarborough! — he did opine at one point that he thought James’ eyes might have been hurting from the bright lights onstage. I don’t think he said this with the authority of “How stoned was James?” — but he said it.

  • Baby Snooks

    I didn’t watch so I can’t comment but must comment that I really don’t care whether he was stoned given all the others through the years who were. On various things.

    We no longer really have columnists or commentators. We have screeching banshees. Which the public for some reason likes.  Some of the “journalists” are no better.

    An attorney reminded me several months ago of the old “public relations maxim” about letting a fire burn out instead of pouring gasoline on it  Good luck to James Franco if he decides to go for the gasoline. 

    At least they didn’t call him a stoned transvestite. But, well, there are the evening banshees yet to arrive. 

    4:41 pm | February 28, 2011
  • Maggie W

    I caught part of the Oscars one place and the last 30 or so minutes at home. What I did see was about as exciting as watching paint dry. The audience sat there nicely, like wooden soldiers, in all their finery. They applauded politely. They could have used some of what James was smoking… if indeed he was. The only relaxed person who seemed to be taking it all in comfortably was Jeff Bridges.
    For my part, if Kevin Spacey did nothing but stand there all night and read the phone book, I would still be hooked and hope for a second reading. Franco and Hathaway were actually quite funny/relaxed in rehearsal clips. Maybe the entire scene was a huge let down when the big moment finally came. Perhaps it was overkill by that time. It takes a Johnny Carson type person who really knows how to play an audience to start shaking the Oscars. I’d put my money on Jon Stewart again. He certainly has a lot of new material lately.

    4:42 pm | February 28, 2011
  • Daniel Sugar

    My fave part of the show was PS 22 – those kids can sing!

    5:04 pm | February 28, 2011
  • marywells

    Oh my.
    Pretty Mr. Franco has been disapointing, to say the least. At last it was what my friends who actually watched the boring ceremony said.
    I didn’t. Loved to read the comments from Mr. Wow, though. Yes, Mr. Wow, you’re smart and funny, as the Oscar Awards haven’t been for a long time.
    But calling him “stoned” is not only wrong: it’s cowardice. He should sue BIG. It makes me sad to see the garbage that passes for TV nowadays.

    5:04 pm | February 28, 2011
  • Paul Smith

    Don’t insult being stoned.  That guy was a bomb.  When the ghost of Bob Hope appeared, it was a relief.  Kirk Douglas even stole the show from him.

    7:48 pm | February 28, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Paul…I would never insult being stoned.  Honest.

      8:05 pm | February 28, 2011
  • Lizzie R.

    I am LOL at this, as I just came from a site where he was totally being raked over the coals. Made  all else seem kind. He was stoned, repeatedly said, one said he was more than a stoner. he was very pasty, his hair looked like Kramer’s on Steinfield, he had a zit on his chin. Oh yes, he’d also had his lips enhanced said another. I don’t even know who he is, so I can say nothing, but wasn’t very impressed with him as a co-host……………………Excuse any typos, as can’t read this anyway.

    11:31 pm | February 28, 2011
  • Daniel Sugar

    R.I.P. Jane Russell

    12:29 am | March 1, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Oh Mr. Sugar…I am truly sorry over this.

      What a gal.  MM’s best leading man. And a lovely person.

      “PLease don’t about love, it reminds me of Malone, the human ferret.”

      1:13 am | March 1, 2011
      • Count Snarkula

        And we were just days ago having so much fun quoting her from Gentlemen Prefer Blonds!

        11:33 am | March 1, 2011
        • Mr. Wow

          Dorothy to Lorelei:  “I don’t know what you do honey, unless you put novocaine in your lipstick.”

          11:39 am | March 1, 2011
  • Daniel Sugar

    It’s a sad one – she was great.
    (I hope she had a wonderful life.)

    8:33 am | March 1, 2011
  • Richard Bassett

     Jane Russell did have a marvelous life, I assume. I have never heard otherwise. She brought bras up to a different level and is now reunited with her Howard Hughes. She lived to a ripe old age. I am never really sad when those over 85 pass away….especially if they have lived years in seclusion, but I do not jump for joy either. My dad lived until 91 and it was such a different situation, emotionally, than when my mom died at 78. Both died of cancer.
     Though he has been around for years, Franco is now up and coming. I’ve seen interviews with the same frozen face. He really doesn’t have much to say. In time, this may change. Unless he stated that he was smoking pot, then it is hearsay and taken with a grain of salt. A moot point. For all we know, he could have been on morphine. This is sketchy reporting, at best. After the Oscars, come the opinions. It is natural. In a few days, it will all be old news.

    9:36 am | March 1, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Richard…the last person on earth she would not want to be reunited with in heaven is Howard Hughes!  Perhaps one of her husbands?  She was divorced once and widowed twice.  (So, life wasn’t so marvelous.  But she was.)

      11:46 am | March 1, 2011
  • Daniel Sugar

    Dorothy Shaw: “Now let’s get one thing straight, Gus: the chaperone’s job is to make sure nobody else has any fun. But nobody chaperones the chaperone.  That’s why I’m so right for this job.”

    1:37 pm | March 1, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear Daniel…

      Gotta put the emphasis….”that’s why I’m so right for this job.”

      In tribute to Miss R. I watched it tonight.  From the first to last second, utterly entertaining.

      9:29 pm | March 1, 2011
  • John Dillon

    I thoroughly agree with your take on Mr. Franco.  Shame on MSNBC for their nasty snarkiness!  He is an actor for god’s sake not a stand up comedian or a Jim Carrey type. I thought he was wonderful in the opening film montage as was Hathaway.  To all the people who revel in trouncing the annual event, get real!  It’s always gonna be a three hour + event with at least 2 hours of endless ‘thanks to you Mom’ and cut away for myriad commercials.  I felt happy at the sight of Kirk Douglas at first, then sad as he overstayed his time. As for Ms. Hathaway and her ebuliance, she was okay too but I’d like to have a hundred bucks for every Woo Hoo she screeched up to the balcony, save it for the Staples Center Anne.

    1:45 pm | March 1, 2011
    • Mr. Wow

      Dear John…I’m leaving you. Oh, wait no—wrong Dear John!

      I’ve come to believe that what I thought I remembered about “great” Oscar shows was simply my own nostalgia for another time, another place, another group of stars.  Was there ever a “good” Oscar telecast?  Probably not.  It all gets lost in the mists of time.  We might see a re-run of some Oscar show from twenty or thirty or forty years ago and think, “Fabulous!”  But we’d simply be reacting to “our” stars and “our” era.  At the time, it was  a big drag, as usual.
      Stoned or sick or bored, Mr. Franco is still pretty hot.  Just not hot enough to stay lit for three and a half hours. 
      As for Mr. Scarborough and his band of twits…they are paid to do this?

      3:41 pm | March 1, 2011
  • BigMouthFrog

    I have always found that the more conservative a person is socially et al., the more juvenile (giggly, and generally immature) they are about any discussions about pot. It’s like they just found a playboy in their dad’s garage and just learned what “masturbate” means and now has to say it over and over again. Joe is an absolute posterboy for this type of reaction.
    I didn’t bother to watch the AA (To me anyway, the best years of the AA feel behind it, like The but what I did catch of James franco appears to be the “persona” that is James Franco. Bordering on appearing stoned, tuned out with a hint of Asperger’s syndrome.

    7:49 pm | March 1, 2011
  • Helen Moran

    Hi Mr. Wow. I watched the whole Oscar show and it was mostly boring. Whenever the Academy decides to try to play to the “younger” people, they make asses of themselves. Anne and James did okay, but as Billy Crystal’s appearance proved, if you are gonna make a 3+ hours show, you need a seasoned comedian. Crystal showed what a seasoned performer can do that a relative newbie cannot. He can entertain. Nothing against Mt Franco, he seems likable and I enjoy his General Hospital over the top stints, but give me Crystal Baldwin or Goldberg again. They work. And they could cut out a third of the awards to be televised. The viewing public really only wants to see the red carpet show, the supporting actors and starring actors and best picture awards.

    11:29 pm | March 1, 2011
  • Margy

    Didn’t catch the AA and the last time I did was because one of my pals is a budding filmmaker and so I joined her and another friend to watch the AA at the movies! The local theater was doing a Oscar show on their screens. Anyhoo! I like Ricky Gervais and thought Franco & Hathaway hosting the AA and looking down on RG’s hilarious GG hosting was rude. Good to know that they finally know hosting is a big job. Ya gotsa ta entertain the crowd. That crowd is full of your peers! Yawn…

    6:49 am | March 2, 2011
  • Pdr de

    After all the speculation as to whether or not he was stoned, I suggest everyone read the following: I’d heard he was taking college classes which is why he left right after the Oscars and that he was exhausted.  This article confirms that:  Block it and copy it into the “window” and read it for yourself.

    7:50 am | March 2, 2011
  • Daniel Sugar

    So nice that you watched “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” as a tribute to Jane Russell. (Her performance will continue to charm movie audiences as long as there are movie audiences.)

    9:11 am | March 2, 2011
  • bolderamy

    James Franco was a special guest here in Boulder a week+ ago for the Boulder International Film Festival. He was given superb treatment and was interviewed by someone who has conducted searing, fascinating interviews with many high profile individuals and is a highly intelligent and talented interviewer who does his homework. The entire audience thought he was either:
    a) so arrogant he couldn’t be bothered to perk up and act graciously
    b) truly a boring person
    or c) wickedly stoned.
    I am betting in all three and having watched the Oscars I am sorely disappointed. what a shame…

    11:50 am | March 2, 2011
  • Andy
    Andy C

    I did watch and enjoyed the show, but felt sorry for Ann Hathaway.  If he was stoned, how sad for her that she had to drag him through this show and it appeared, that she was dragging him through.  She, however, seemed to thoroughly enjoy herself; hi-fiving the kids at the end.  Helooked like he wanted to check his text messages and may have been doing so instead of taking care of business.  Really not fair to her.

    3:45 pm | March 2, 2011
  • LuckyLady n/a

    I have seen Mr. Franco interviewed a couple of times and it was obvious that he was extremely uncomfortable.  For whatever reason he was chosen it should now be known that he is a fabulous actor but not an entertainer.

    11:09 am | March 3, 2011
  • John Hlavaty

    Bruce Vilanch has been writing for the Oscars for years.  And as talented as he is, even Vilanch isn’t perfect.  For example, take the “walking out in drag” bit that Franco was forced to do.  Or the whole “six degrees of separation” snippet that Franco had to say.  Those “jokes” are so old and tired, it’s little wonder Franco was uninspired.  Heck, even the best of comedians could probably barely get those jokes to work.

    I don’t think Franco was expressing ennui, was bored, or stoned – I think he was unmotivated and embarrassed. 

    If the Oscars really want to appeal to a younger audience, then write for one. Vilanch may have had some great material, but who knows what was “allowed” by the big wigs.  But if this was truly the best Vilanch and his team had to offer, then it’s time to point the finger a bit away from Franco. 

    Personally, I was mildly amused by everyone.  I did not see the entire show, but I felt some clips were great, some were not.  This is true in just about any “variety show” – which is really what the Oscars are when they aren’t handing out awards – I’ve ever seen.

    9:19 pm | March 3, 2011
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