It's not that we don't sympathize with Ryan Seacrest. The Oscar red carpet is a relentless stream of thin-skinned celebrities. But the celebrity interviewer seemed especially cringe-inducing this year.
Maybe it was a lack of preparation. Cultural insensitivity. Or maybe Seacrest is just getting tired of this sort of work. In any case, he was off his game. Examples:
What was Seacrest thinking? He was unprepared to read the names of some Indian kids from the cast of Slumdog Millionaire. The logical thing to do, then, would be to ask each child to quickly say his or her name. Instead, he briefly held an illegible piece of paper up to the camera. Then he asked the disappointed kids to all shout their names at once. They wisely ignored him.
There was some awkwardness over English, which some of the kids did not speak, and which Seacrest made them feel pretty much as terrible as possible about. (After we posted about this last night, commenters pointed us toward the other Seacrest flubs.)
Seacrest asks whether Slumdog cast real-live SLUM-DWELLERS
The host was fascinated that director Danny Boyle used actual slumdogs or whatever. Boyle reminded him that they try to think of the poor kids as normal human beings instead of total freaks. Then his eyes asked if Seacrest couldn't do the same.
Seacrest asks Marisa Tomei where she's been the past 15 years
Yes, she's made movies since My Cousin Vinny, Ryan. Dig the death stare at the end.