Doubling Up: Ellen DeGeneres to Host Oscars for 2014 Academy Awards

RT@Dannyboy0713: I totally hope @TheEllenShow gets every celebrity in the ballroom to dance when she hosts The Oscars @TheAcademy

And The Winner Is…

Because Twitter announcements count as official (well…until they don’t…), Twitter scooped most folks on this first: Ellen DeGeneres announced her delight to be returning as the emcee for the Oscars ceremony next year, on behalf of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts Sciences.

DeGeneres (“The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “Finding Nemo”), in the customary “Aw shucks wink-wink” way we know and adore, shared this joyful tweet on her Twitter page:

It’s official: I’m hosting the #Oscars! I’d like to thank @TheAcademy, my wife Portia and, oh dear, there goes the orchestra.

The broadcast’s executive producers (Craig Zadan and Neil Meron) cosigned her “squee” on Twitter, tweeting:

Neil Meron @neilmeron welcome back to the Oscar stage, Ellen…we can’t wait to start working with you! @theellenshow @theacademy @craigzadan

And they love Ms. Ellen so much, they went from pitch to decision in a mere 48 hours’ time.

“I agreed with Craig and Neil immediately that Ellen is the ideal host for this year’s show,” said Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Academy President. “We’re looking forward to an entertaining, engaging and fun show.”

According to the organization’s CEO Dawn Hudson, “Ellen is talented, wonderfully spontaneous, and knows how to entertain a worldwide audience. She’s a big fan of the Oscars; we’re huge fans of hers. It’s a perfect match.”


All This Funny Business

According to Variety magazine, “’The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ has won 45 Daytime Emmys during its 10 seasons. Though DeGeneres’ show airs on NBC owned-and-operated stations, she has a history with Oscar broadcaster ABC, with her landmark sitcom ‘Ellen’ having run there from 1994-98. In 1997, DeGeneres won the Peabody Award and a writing Emmy for the episode in which her character came out as a gay woman, with 46 million viewers watching.

“Over the last eight years, the 2007 Oscars hosted by DeGeneres stands as the top rated in both adults 18-49 (14.1 rating/33 share) and women 25-54 (19.2/40).”

Since coming out in 1997, though Ellen shared myriad challenges she faced because of her public declaration, she’s a master at the art of the “Reboot and Rally.” These days, you feel like she’s never missed a beat.

You always get the sense that even while Ellen’s ribbing you, she’s laughing with—not at—you, and you’re never on the arse-end of even her snarkiest inside jokes. Ellen saves more observational or cutting humor for political issues.

Case in point: remember when she riffed on fatphobia? Ellen quipped:

“Now [Abercrombie & Fitch] actually have a double zero. What are we aspiring to? ‘Honey, do these jeans make my butt look invisible in this?‘”

Crafting jokes, skits, comedic sets and punchlines in such a way is living a rarefied air and artistry we don’t see quite enough of. Too, though reading and shade has its place in queer culture, this type of kidding around is based on finding and digging into flaws, and adding salt to wounds (real, perceived or straight-up made up).

In other words, the origin and intent of reading/shade/the dozens, however creative, is more degrading.

And Now, Your Host…

Ellen’s first Oscars hosting gig took place in 2007. In a tongue-in-cheek self-released press statement Ellen added:

“I am so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time. You know what they say – the third time’s the charm….”

Laugh on, Ms. E. Laugh on.

Click below to watch 5 of Ellen’s Best Award Show Moments:

The 86th Annual Academy Awards takes place on March 2, 2014. So is Ellen the right woman for the job, or what?


Ca. Eagle Scout and Mother Take Eagle Scout Charge to Heart

“The Third Obligation of the Eagle Scout is to be Courageous”

So sayeth The Eagle Scout Charge: “To a Scout, bravery means not only the courage to face physical danger, but the determination to stand up for the right.” After coming out last year, Ryan Andresen was denied his Eagle badge even though he had completed all the requirements for his Eagle Scout Award while still a member of the Boy Scouts of America.  Before his eighteenth birthday, Ryan had completed a capstone project where he worked with a local middle school to build a permanent “Tolerance Wall” to raise awareness about bullying.

How the Andresens Retaliated

Ryan’s Mother, Karen Andresen, launched a campaign on, with the help of Scouts for Equality founder Zach Walls after Ryan’s Scoutmaster Rainer Del Valle refused to sign Ryan’s Eagle application because of Ryan’s sexual orientation.  The BSA have an anti-gay policy against its members and leaders.

The on-line campaign petition recruited more than 460,000 signatures and endorsements from thirty-two California state legislators, California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer. It also landed Ryan national attention last October: a spot on Anderson Cooper 360 and The Ellen DeGeneres Show where Ellen presented Ryan with a check toward college tuition.

Boy Scouts of America’s Highest Award is Possible for Ryan

Mount Diablo, California’s Boy Scouts ignored the BSA’s national ban on gay members and leaders, and granted Ryan an official Eagle Board of Review on December 19.  They submitted their recommendation of approval to the Mt. Diablo-Silverado Council on December 31.  Commented Ryan’s father, Eric Andresen, “from what I understand, this has never happened before.”(Eric was a Boy Scout leader until his son was ejected.)

Ryan’s parents pushed Ryan’s application until it landed on the desk of Bonnie Hazarabedian, who chaired the Boy Scout district review board that signed off on Ryan’s Eagle Scout application. Says Bonnie: “Ryan did everything right in this process, with respect and honesty, requesting an Eagle Board of Review under disputed circumstances when his Scoutmaster refused to sign the application.  … We are convinced that Ryan has demonstrated he deserves the rank of Eagle Scout.”

Not an ‘open-and-shut ‘Case, Yet

The application, approved at the local and council levels, has been forwarded for recommendation to the national headquarters for final approval. “Normally,” said Ryan’s father, “the national office rubber-stamps the district recommendation within 30 to 60 days.”  This case is not expected to be resolved so easily. Ryan’s case is one of more than fifty petitions that have been launched by Scouts and Scout leaders urging local councils to ignore the national anti-gay policy.

Rewards for Fighting

“No matter what the BSA’s National Advancement Team decides to do with his application,” claims Karen Andresen, “this victory (approval of local Scouting community), makes it all worth it, and gives me hope for the future of the organization.”

Says Ryan, “ I want other gay Scouts to know, especially those who are hiding who they really are, that this win is for you.” As his father confirms, “ it’s gotten to the point that getting the Eagle doesn’t matter so much.  It’s the message that counts.  It’s the desire that no other Scout should ever have to go through this.”