Liveblogging Barbara Walter's Cringefest

This has always been the most reliably cringe making hour of the year. On tv anyway. it represents everything moronic in American culture. i say this as someone who loves pop culture.


7:01 Oh my god! She’s covered with leeches!

No wait, it’s the see-through netting she’s wearing which seems to have leech-like clumps of black fabric on it. Are the leeches related to the plastic surgery? I don’t want to seem cruel but she’s really reached Joan Rivers-level of plasticine surgery. Maybe she IS Joan Rivers.

The Ellen Degeneres segment. Ellen predicts to Barbara that when she walks out on stage to introduce the Oscars “there’s gonna be a big, big smile on my face.” Controversial! Inside stuff!

More wisdom from Ellen: “It’s really about living your truth.”

Young aspiring journalists can learn from old pro Barbara what kind of questions get your interview subject to really, really reveal stuff.

Barbara: if you were to call up God today what would you ask him?

Ellen: “Nothing, I’m really grateful for what I have.” An unexpected insight! But hey, what about asking God for world peace? Don’t you care about anyone but yourself?

Jennifer Hudson: exclusive footage of her singing that hideous tear jerker song everyone pays knee jerk obeisance to as “great”. Come on! It’s the most grating Broadway tripe.


Wait a minute, did Barbara suddenly beome a red head for this segment? America wants to know.

Another question of profound searching importance: will your boyfriend ask you to marry him? The poor woman, subjected to this crap. Call God and ask Him to smite this show with a mighty hand.

Helen Mirren section: Barbara’s hair continues to fascinate. Kind of a brassy blond now.

Could you possibly predict this: Barbara says The Queen</em has transformed HM into “Hollywood royalty”. Who writes this brilliant stuff?

But this was genuinely surprizing: Helen Mirren actually refused to answer one of Barbara’s insipid questions! About how her husband courted her. Good for you, Helen!

Why do we put up with Barbara’s insanely insipid show. Tradition? Aren’t some traditions past their sell-by date? It’s not even camp, or kitsch. It’s just crap.Cringe-making. Is there some deephuman need to cringe that Barbara has discerned and tapped into as the lodestone of her post-serious career?

Um, why is Eddie Murphy going on about women’s shoes? Okay he sold shoes as a youth but he seems to bring a lot of urgency to the account.


Don’t get me wrong I like Eddie Murphy. Rolling Stone once assigned me to do a story about him when he was headlining as a comic in Atlantic City. He was REALLY funny, really dirty.

But watching Barbara trying to mime laughter at Murphy through the botox is painful.

At last here it was: the trademark certainty of the Barbara Oscar specials is that somebody is going to cry. Eddie Murphy, hip to the tradition fakes crying. Does Barbara have a clue he’s sending her up?

Actually I think she does. Gotta give her credit for that I guess. And for daring to appear inthe leech-gown again at the end of the special. That’s courage.


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