Bruce Vilanch: James Franco Wasn’t Smoking Anything at The Oscars

New York magazine's Vulture asked Oscar writer and comedy veteran Bruce Vilanch to comment on James Franco's widely-panned Oscar performance, and Franco wasn't happy with what Vilanch had to say, tweeting out a photo which he deleted shortly thereafter, but not before folks had taken notice.

Franco Said Vilanch of the rumor that Franco was under the influence of marijuana:

No, he wasn't high. I was with him, and he wasn't high. And I asked him, 'Are you high, and can I have some?' And he said no to both."

Vilanch also suggested that perhaps the Oscars were out of Franco's comfort zone, or that he had too much going on.

"He has so many balls in the air, he didn't get to town till Thursday before the show on Sunday. And so we e-mailed a lot. But we had a lot of meetings. He had a bunch of people who were writing for him, and if it had been him alone, it would have been different. But it was him and Anne Hathaway, and they both had to be serviced. So there was a lot of communication beforehand. But he didn't get there…I don't think he realized how big a deal it is to do it until he was actually confronted with it. I think he thought he would kind of … I don't know what he thought. I thought maybe it was a performance-art prank, and then I realized he sincerely wanted to do it. But it's outside of those guys' comfort zones. The only people who know how to host those shows are people who get up onstage every night and say, 'Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. A funny thing happened … ' Or people like Bette [Midler] who get up and sing all night and tell stories."

Franco's tweet (right, via Gawker) mocked Vilanch, and the Divine Miss M.


  1. hank says

    In all fairness, Vilanch has been the head writer for the Oscars for years, and it has sucked hard for all of those years. Just sayin.

  2. says

    I think Franco gets comedy fine. That picture is pretty damn hilarious.

    As for the Oscars? He had a bad night. And maybe didn’t realize this wasn’t something he could just ‘wing.’ Could happen to pretty much anyone who hasn’t been there, or somewhere similar, before.

  3. Russell says

    Who makes more $$$, those who write the Super Bowl entertainment or the Oscars entertainment? However, sorry to see that Jimmy has a mean streak. Did he want Bruce to say that he WAS smoking something?

  4. Patric says

    Russell, how is it that “Jimmy has a mean streak”? It’s Vilanch who panned Franco’s performance publicly (as, granted, many others did). Why shouldn’t he respond?

  5. Russell says

    OK, Patric, in a perfect world I think that Vilanch might have kept quiet. But when did that ever happen. Instead, seems he tried to distance himself from a[nother] so-so Oscars. But IMO he was kinder about it than he had to be. Franco was not kind. Vilanch does know comedy, and is way senior to Franco in that area. Meanwhile, I’m not buying into this business that because Franco is not homophobic, and is cute, then everything he does is quality. Some of it obviously is not. I support his best work and hope to see even better.

  6. Patric says

    Hey, Russell. Perhaps others have but I certainly have not suggested that members of the gay community should view everything James Franco does as quality work. In fact, I think most of us would agree that the Oscars show was a disaster.

    Regarding his response to Vilanch, if someone wanted to be “not kind” to Vilanch it would not be difficult. I did not find Franco’s response to be “not kind” at all. I think it was quite a tame response to someone who had just publicly criticized him.

  7. Roy says

    Yes, Franco (and Hathaway) sucked as an Oscar host.

    But criticism coming from a guy who has written the lamest ‘jokes’ for the past 20 years really isn’t worth much. Bruce, take your meat-scarf-neck and try to come up with a joke that wouldn’t make Leno wince.

  8. ratbastard says

    This incident will roll off Franco and Hathaway like water off a duck.

    But, I don’t think well paid professionals have ‘Bad Nights’.

  9. Brent says

    Franco was awful and I still find it painful to look at his face. It’s going to take me a while before I don’t wince when I see him or hear his name.

  10. Will says

    Yes the writing blew, and so did Franco’s performance. But why drag the divine Miss M into it?

  11. Bryan says

    How _should_ one MC Hollywood’s annual masturbatory frenzy?

    How ’bout a very articulate psychologist who could diagnose the films, the characters, and of course the actors?

    “And now the award for Personality Disordered Narcissist with Paranoid Tendencies goes to…”

    We could all go to work the next day and fight over who really deserved “Best Codependent Enabler of a Doomed Substance Abuser.”

  12. jamal49 says

    “….and they both had to be serviced.” I don’t know about Ms. Hathaway, but I would have LOVED to service Mr. Franco!

  13. MrRoboto says

    Knowing Bruce, personally, I have a feeling he had a laugh at this tweet and moved right along to the next bit of business for the day. The man is nothing if not self-effacing and is only too happy to take potshots at himself. Whether or not you like Bruce’s jokes or not, Franco was abysmal, and I appreciate his comment about Franco’s hosting being an act of “performance art.” That’s what it started to seem like to me. That…or he was stoned.