Oscar Beats the Odds

It all began with the bookies. If you had been reading you Washington Post style section, you'd know that the

It all began with the bookies.

If you had been reading you Washington Post style section, you'd know that the bookmakers had Richard Burton at two-to-one. Zero-for-eight in the old "Best Actor" category. A shoo-in, match.

Ah, but alas poor Richard. No applause from the "critic section." And there he went and spent five weeks under a sunlamp so he could be good and tanned for his acceptance speech.

The academy must have had something against him. We can't say what, but the academy has something against everybody.

The book was terrible on Vanessa Redgrave. Her politics, of course. But we know that "zionist hoodlums" run all the betting networks in this country. Now, our editorial chairman forbids us to comment further on Vanessa's political views...

But it sure did give Paddy Cheyevsky something nice and juicy to get indignant about, didn't it? Cheyevsky hasn't been this indignant since Network.

Now let me tell you something about moral outrage. A good piece of moral outrage is a work of art. It requires all the best moralists' skills. When done right, it's a thing of beauty. Something to celebrate. So let's celebrate it...

Woops, forgot to announce the nominees.

Bob Hope hasn't bombed so much in years. We don't know what happened. Our guess is that his gag-writers were all off trying to make time with Jodie Foster.

Speaking of Jodie Foster. We hear Roman Polanski is begging the French government to extradite him back to Hollywood.

Polanski aside, the academy sure does love Star Wars, doesn't it? What was it: six, seven Oscars? Natch. Star Wars saved the studio. It also served a death warrant for any film smacking of "relevance." What more could you ask?

Jane Fonda. But we also noticed who was sitting beside her. What about the new social order, Tom? Tell us about it.

And Diane Keaton. Wasn't she just...gee, wow, I mean...this is...I don't what...gee-wiz...wonderful?

Woody Allen and Jason Robards and Vanessa Redgrave and Diane Keaton and Annie Hall. The old Academy showed some integrity after all. All the smart money said that the Academy wouldn't like Woody because Woody doesn't like the Academy. We hear that when he won the big one he was home cooking lobsters.

Debbie Boone and her songwriter won "Best Song" for "You Light Up My Life." Debbie says it's not about any man: it's about God.

We hear George Burns heard that and called her up for a date. Debbie said that he'd have to come to the house and meet Pat first.

George ended up by flicking cigar ash on Pat's white shoes. Pat responded by throwing George in the swimming pool. Burns is suing, but Boone says he was just trying to baptize him.

The show was over. But the question remained: is Paul Williams really the product of an undisclosed CIA drug experiment?

The thrill of the Oscars, we contend, is all in the anticipation. The show itself ended just as it began. A pretty lousy bet.