Oscars 2012: What was Billy Crystal’s lamest joke?
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The reviews of pinch-hit Oscar host Billy Crystal, who replaced Eddie Murphy when he bolted with producer Brett Ratner, were mixed. Detractors said a little Borscht Belt schtick went a long way, while supporters thought Crystal brought some sharp wit to the proceedings.
As The Times’ Greg Braxton reported, the evening had its share of uncomfortable moments and instances of what appeared to be cultural insensitivity. And Crystal quickly came under fire in social media for a couple of his bits.
Crystal appeared in blackface as Sammy Davis Jr. during the show’s opening film montage. Crystal as Davis Jr. — a throwback to his days on “Saturday Night Live” — parodied Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris’ with Justin Bieber.
Crystal joked shortly after Octavia Spencer’s supporting actress win for “The Help” that he loved the film so much he came out of the theater wanting to hug the first black woman he saw. “Which, from Beverly Hills,’ he quipped, ‘is about a 45-minute drive.”
Whatever your view, there were any number of Crystal jokes that landed with a thud. What was his biggest miss? Vote in our poll: