Tonight at 9, we'll watch the 69th annual Academy Awards presentation (on WFTS-Ch. 28). The award for best reason to watch this year's show goes to . . . Billy Crystal, who is returning to host the show for the fifth time. He was emcee from 1990 to 1993. (Bob Hope is the most frequent Oscar host, seven times as a solo act, 10 as a co-host.)
During Crystal's absence, the duties were handled by Whoopi Goldberg (1994 and 1996) and David Letterman (1995). Goldberg received high marks for her two stints on the Oscar stage; Letterman got a chillier reception. (He wasn't that bad, except for that Uma-Oprah Oprah-Uma thing.)
Crystal has a reputation for creating memorable Academy Award Show entrances. In 1992, the comedian was wheeled onstage dressed as Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs. In 1993, the year after Jack Palance won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in City Slickers and performed impromptu push-ups on stage, Crystal entered the show on a chariot pulled by Palance.
Crystal will be under tremendous pressure tonight. He's the guy in charge of making the show lively, and many moviegoers haven't seen this year's best picture nominees, with the exception of Jerry Maguire.
Crystal is king when it comes to the Oscars. He'll go home a winner.
Gotta use that hot air for something
According to a recent Pearle Vision survey, 64 percent of eyeglass wearers clean them daily. But, the survey also reported that they're . doing it badly.
Folks ages 35 to 44 were the leading culprits of bad cleaning habits, 32 percent of whom fessed up to blowing air on the lens and wiping it off with whatever is handy. Seven percent of the respondents use saliva to clean their eyeglasses. Hey, it's free and readily available. Who can blame them?
And he's got such cute ears
TAMPA _ The Easter Bunny hippity-hopped into West Shore Plaza and other malls earlier this month so kids could meet with the mysterious rabbit who brings them chocolate-laden baskets.
Mall spokeswoman Debra Faulk said kids seem to dress up more for a visit to the Easter Bunny than they do for Santa Claus.
"The Easter Bunny visit is more of an outing. At Christmastime, people happen to be in the mall and then stop by and see Santa. For Easter, they appear to be coming specifically for a photo opportunity," Faulk said.
But Santa is still more popular than Bunny. The Easter Bunny draws only about a third of the kids that Santa pulls in, Faulk said.
"During the holiday season, Santa is really larger than life. He has more universal appeal than the Easter Bunny," she said.
We think the Easter Bunny is way cuter.