Carol Leifer is a glass half-full kind of comedian.
Unlike this admittedly glass-half empty kind of TV Addict, Leifer, one of the writers of this Sunday’s much anticipated 84th ACADEMY AWARDS doesn’t see any downside to writing for an Award Show in which a community of critics are already sharpening their pens to pick apart.
“With the internet, everything is ripped apart the second it gets out there, it doesn’t matter what it is. It could be THE KENNEDY CENTER HONORS, there’s always going to be haters out there,” laughed off Leifer during a recent one-on-one with the TV Addict. “As a writer, we’re all just excited to put the material out there. I really approach it not only as such a fun show to work on, but so exciting because you never know what’s going to happen next. Writing for the OSCARS is really the highlight of my year, especially this year having Billy Crystal back as host.”
Indeed, on the off chance you’ve missed one of ABC seemingly never ending promos, Billy Crystal — following last year’s train wreck of a show in which Leifer was quick to point out she had absolutely nothing to do with — is back. And while Crystal, who returns to the Kodak theatre for the first time since 2004 may seem by some (okay this glass half-empty kind of TV Addict) as somewhat of a safe and uninspired choice to host Hollywood’s biggest night of the year, Leifer thinks otherwise.
“What I love personally is when they have a comedy heavyweight hosting the show because I think it’s exactly what you need. There are 3000 award shows, but there is only one OSCARS, there’s no bigger show,” countered Leifer following our assertion that Billy Crystal was the obvious safe choice following last year’s Franco fiasco. “What’s more, because he hasn’t hosted in such a long time, there’s an anticipation about the familiarity of Billy, but in a good way. To me, it’s kind of like comfort food, I’m not only writing, but excited to see him as a host because he’s kind of back where he belongs. I just don’t think anybody has done it the way that he does.”
And Liefer should know. Having worked on six different OSCAR telecasts alongside the likes of Ellen Degeneres, Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin, not to mention been on the receiving end of 2 Emmy nominations (SEINFELD, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE) and more recently a Writer’s Guild Nomination for her work on MODERN FAMILY, Liefer is not exactly at a loss for words on the subject of hosting how-to. Until that is the subject of what viewers can expect from this Sunday’s telecast comes up.
“When I signed my contract his year, the confidentiality agreement wasn’t kidding around. It used to be a post it note and now it’s a six page document. They take it very seriously,” admitted Leifer, “But I understand it from a writer perspective of how frustrating it is because these days, with everybody having a camera phone, a host will try out their monologue, only to see it end up on Deadline Hollywood the next day. It’s just so sad to me that you can’t keep anything confidential anymore and I feel bad for the host because getting the material up on its feet and having a couple of trial runs you can’t even do that anymore.”
In other words, to find out what Liefer, her fellow writers and the one and only Billy Crystal has in store for you, well, you’ll just have to tune in the old fashioned way starting Sunday February 26th at 8PM on ABC (CTV in Canada).