Al and Leo's stand-up routine
The hands-down funniest bit during the Oscars was Al Gore's political non-announcement. The ballroom burst into laughter and applause when the music drowned him out. So when I ran into Oscar writer Bruce Vilanche at the Governors Ball, I congratulated him on the hilarious moment. But he told me that the idea for having Gore get "played off" with the too-long-a-speech music actually came from Gore's daughter Karenna Gore Schiff, who's a comedy writer for sitcoms.
"I had written that Leo would say 'Are you sure there isn't anything you want to announce' and Gore would say,'I don't do sequels.' But Karenna came up with the idea of playing them off and she was the only person who could pitch that to him. If I had suggested, "Look, we want to play you off and make you look like an idiot,' he would have laughed but his people would have had me taken out and shot. But he bought it and I told him, 'If you underplay it a bit, the audience may believe, just for a moment, that you might be actually be going to annouce something. And then there will be an explosion.' He has pefect timing. And he really got into it. During rehearsals he was doing a lot of acting."
And about that Meryl Streep moment....