The Academy Awards:
The Show's the Thing

By Barry Monush

The Academy Awards have been around for as long as the movies have talked, but what was instrumental in making the ceremony itself a part of the lives of those outside the motion picture industry was the decision to telecast it. Since 1953 all the glamour and tension have been on view for millions of viewers to behold, as television gives the event a sparkle that the radio broadcast equivalent could never quite convey. Over the years, the show became an annual ritual of "epic" proportions, compelling even folks who didn't spend much time at the cinema to tune in. Along the way, audiences have been privileged to see all the joy, anger, frustration, flubs, and unusual star pairings that have made the "Oscars" one of the top-rated shows each year. Although most of the program has always been scripted, many of the best moments have been spontaneous, which is the main reason we keep tuning in, year after year, despite the general consensus that there's a lot of hot air and boredom between the highlights.

Here is your chance to choose both your favorite moments and your favorite hosts. This means that there will be, at long last, a competition between Laurence Olivier and Donald Duck—which, in my opinion, is reason enough to cast your vote.

Poll: Best Academy Awards Moment

Poll: Best Academy Awards Host

[The polls are now closed, but you can still check out the results!]