Last September, when Ellen DeGeneres was first announced as this year's Oscars host, I gave my opinion that she was all wrong for the job, that she isn't funny or hip enough for the young audience that ABC is hoping for. More than twenty comments were posted by readers that stated the opposite. I have begun to realize I could be wrong, although I'm getting very tired of that commercial featuring her and a bunch of animals. I admit that my judgment of DeGeneres is based primarily on my annoyance with her voice work on Finding Nemo. Otherwise I have been known to chuckle at her jokes from time to time.

This week DeGeneres spoke about her preparations for the February 25 telecast. She said that her concentration thus far has been on making sure there aren't too many industry-specific jokes because a lot of the audience hasn't seen the nominated films. She knows she won't please everybody, and she stated that she plans on just being herself and doing what she finds to be funny. Those who enjoyed her previous experience as host of the Emmys and the Grammys can probably expect to enjoy this, I figure.

DeGeneres will not be copying Billy Crystal with a musical number, though she is hopeful for something as spontaneous and surprising as the Jack Palance one-armed push-up incident, which allowed for a lot of fun improvisation from Crystal in 1992. That reminds me: considering Palance died this past November, it would be a good idea if all the winners this year pay him tribute by doing at least one push-up on stage. I bet Helen Mirren can even do the one-armed variety.