Mar 13 • 30M

'It Was a Great Show': Bruce Vilanch Unpacks the Oscars

The legendary former head writer and Richard Rushfield analyze a night that (finally!) worked

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“Tems was wearing my wedding gown,” jokes Villanch of the view-obscuring singer, nominated for Original Song for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’s “Lift Me Up”. (credit: ABC)


Bruce Vilanch is a legendary Emmy-winning comedy writer, songwriter and actor who spent 14 of his 24 years on the Academy Awards as the show’s head writer (2000-2014), collaborating with hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Billy Crystal, David Letterman and Steve Martin. In a lively conversation, he breaks down why this year’s Oscars worked — from the use of live TV producers, to heartfelt speeches, to Jimmy Kimmel’s jokes. “No one was in any mood to scold anybody… [There were] so many positive things happening.” Not to mention the return of big theatrical films in the aftermath of the pandemic’s smaller streaming movies. “[Previously] you only had to walk to the couch to see any of the nominated movies,” says Vilanch. “And nobody took that walk.”

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