Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at
Posted 02.22.08
Stanstead, Quebec


And the Oscar for worst jokes goes to...

STANSTEAD, QC | With the US writers' strike over, this weekend's Academy Awards broadcast will go ahead. Another domestic crisis averted.

Unfortunately, this mean's I'm out of a gig. I'd volunteered to scab for the event as head writer and (the deal-clincher) as host. Now the world will never know the full splendour of my show. I can only give you a brief glimpse of what might have been...

ANNOUNCER: "Ladies and gentlemen, direct from his invasive liposuction at Her Lady of Perpetual Hooha Clinic and Spa, here's your host, Ross Murray."

[Enter wearing giant fake moustache and that wide-brimmed hat worn by Daniel Day Lewis's character. Wait for thunderous applause to die.]

"Welcome to the 80th Academy Awards. There will be blood!"

[More thunderous applause. Shots of audience wiping tears of hilarity from eyes.]

"Wow, look at all the stars here tonight. I was out on the red carpet earlier and you couldn't swing a cat without hitting a celebrity. When I hit Scarlet Johansen with a tabby, security asked me to stop.

"I saw Clint Eastwood out there, Jodi Foster, Uma Thurman... Actually, Uma seemed a little distracted, kept asking people if they had the time but no one had a watch. Finally, she ran into Russell Crowe who said '3:10' to Uma.

"Thank you, thank you very much.

"There's Jack Nicholson in his usual spot. Good to see you, Jack. Though, I'm a bit surprised; I thought this was no country for old men!"

[Pause while crowd goes "Oooo!" and camera focuses on seething Nicholson Note to self: prepare ad libs in the event of fisticuffs.]

"I kid Jack because I love him. Jack's won three Oscars, including one for Best Supporting Actor. You know, they say a 'curse' befalls those who win Best Supporting awards. But nominee Javier Bardem doesn't have to worry about that. He's already cursed... with bad hair!

"And now I'd like to salute this year's awards show with a musical number. Joining me, please welcome the Danseuses Presque-Nus d'Audrey Tatou:

Where have you gone Tom Hanks?

We gave you two Oscar but where's the thanks?

First The DaVinci Code, that overstuffed bore, and now that forgettable Charlie Wilson's War.

We need your star power in the nominations instead of 'respected' B-listers like Tom Wilkinson.

Network producers will find it mighty hard trying to muster interest in Marion Cotillard.

Abysmal ratings, say it ain't so!

Even striking writers couldn't save this show.

Thank God for Clooney and you, Johnny Depp.

You make up for -- are you serious? -- Casey Affleck.

But Atonement ain't appealing like those epics we once had makes the network wish the Oscar went to Superbad.

But please stay tuned, the excitement's infecting as we present the award for best sound editing.

Or stick around later - can you stand the tension?

Will the Oscar go to Saorise Ronan or to Tilda Swinton?

Abysmal ratings, say it ain't so!

Even striking writers couldn't save this show.

[Crew hoses down foam as I step out of Ratatouille costume and ovation subsides.]

"Thank you, thank you, my mother thanks you. You're too kind.

"But if I could be serious for just one moment. While we're here this evening to celebrate this miracle we call 'moviemaking,' these festivities are not untinged with sadness. For we have lost one of our own. Not just a great actor but a good-looking actor. Taken too young, died too soon, flew too close to the sun. Please join me in a moment's silence as we remember... Heath Ledger. Heath, we hardly knew ya... mate!"

[Pause. Pause a little more. A-a-a-nd, just a bit more.]

"Thank you. And now, ladies and gentlemen, Miss Paris Hilton!"

Anyway, it goes on like that for another five hours. I think it would have been a good show. Later, Matt Damon and Ben Stiller wrestle in a vat of paint thinner. Comedy gold! I'd like to thank my cat for the inspiration. I'd also like to thank the left mole on my back for always being there for me, my parents, my...hey, what's with the music? Stop the orchestra! I'm not finished! I want to thank my agent, the editors of Mad Magazine..., no, wait, waitÉ