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Hits and misses from the host and the stars at the Academy Awards

Jennifer Lawrence falls as she approaches the stage to accept her award for best actress for "Silver Linings Playbook," at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

This year’s Oscar show was a pretty hit-and-miss, haphazard affair with some surprisingly slipshod production values.

First-time Oscar host Seth MacFarlane was as uneven as the show.

He opened, “Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the Oscars and the quest to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh begins now,” MacFarlane said to crowd cheers. “It’s an honor that everyone else said no, from Whoopi all the way down to Ron Jeremy, it eventually found it’s way down to me. “Argo” tells the previously classified story about an American hostage rescue in post-revolutionary Iran. Now the story was so top secret that film’s director was unknown to the Academy.”

It was a nice crack there about Ben Affleck’s snub.

But he quickly got waylaid by a string of dated jokes – about Mel Gibson’s antisemitism and about Chris Brown beating up Rihanna.

Then there was a tacky big-screen interruption by William Shatner as Captain Kirk giving MacFarlane a warning from the future.

“Captain Kirk, what are you doing here?” asks MacFarlane.

“Well, I’m here to stop you from doing what you’re about to do. The show is a disaster.”

“What are you talking about? It’s going fine.”

“No! It’s not!”

Shatner then started sharing jokey headlines from the future start appearing about Seth MacFarlane. “Worst Oscar Host ever,” then “Mediocre Oscar host,” then finally, “Best Oscars ever.”

I’d say, the truth about MacFarlane was somewhere in the middle, a little better than mediocre. I thought he got better as the show went on, his delivery relaxed a bit, and his quips sounded more spontaneous.

As for the actual awards, both Best Actress and Best Actor speeches were winning.

Jennifer Lawrence tripped as she ascended the stairs but handled it with aplomb.

“You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell. That’s really embarrassing, but thank you,” said Lawrence as she took the stage. “This is nuts.”

The ever stately Daniel Day Lewis actually cracked a joke after last year’s Best Actress winner Meryl Streep handed him the Best Actor Oscar.

“It’s a strange thing, because three years ago, before we decided to do a straight swap I had actually been committed to play Margret Thatcher.”

And then the surprising but a little odd Best Picture announcement from the White House. Michelle Obama announced the winner, “Argo,” with her congratulations.

Ben Affleck fumbled his speech a bit with a slightly uncomfortable recognition of his wife as someone who helps him “work” at his marriage. It’s really work but there’s no one I’d rather work with then you.” A little cringe-worthy, but no doubt lost in the afterglow of a Best Picture Oscar.

Find more Oscar coverage:
Photos: Stars walk the red carpet at the 85th Academy Awards
The few parts non-movie fan Dori Monson enjoyed about the Oscars
Predictions: Who Tom Tangney thought would walk away with a win

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