Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your host, Seth MacFarlane.
"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Oscars.... And the quest to make Tommy Lee Jones laugh starts, now!" (Cut to TLJ -- success!)
Seth explains the evening has a theme "music in film." Time your bathroom breaks accordingly.
He explains that "Argo" is based on a previously classified CIA mission in Iran. "The film is so top secret that the film's director is unknown to the Academy. (Cut to snubbed Ben Affleck). They know they screwed up."
Seth does his first voice of the night, Robin Williams: "Ben, it's not your fault." (Good Will Hunting, anyone?)
He explains that winning an Oscar guarantees a long career, the audience laughs at the facetiousness. "Jean Dujardin won last year, and now, he's everywhere." Uncomfortable, given that he's actually in the audience. Hopefully the joke didn't translate.
He acknowledges Daniel Day-Lewis and his totally-in-character-all-the-time process, asking what would happen if, while filming, he saw a cell phone or: "If you bumped into Don Cheadle on the studio lot, did you, like, try to free him?"
As for Django Unchained, "this is the story of a man fighting to get back his woman, who's been subjected to unthinkable violence. Or as Chris Brown and Rihanna call it: A date movie."
The audience laugh/gasps, Seth reassures them: "That's as bad as it gets, if it makes you feel better."
"It's really not as bad as it gets."
He notes the copious use of the n-word in the Django script is loosely based on Mel Gibson's voice mail. The audience gasps again, and he doesn't let them off the hook: "Oh, so you're on his side?"
"As I said, tonight's ceremony is being watched by over one billion people worldwide, which is why Jodie Foster will be up here in a minute to ask for her privacy."
A screen comes down, with the last thing you'd expect: William Shatner as Captain Kirk. He tells Seth the show's a disaster.
"What are you talking about? The show's going fine," Seth says.
"No, it's not," Shatner says, showing him tomorrow's headline: "Seth MacFarlane: Worst Oscar Host Ever."
Seth asks what he did wrong and Shatner explains that he sang a song that was offensive to many of the actresses in Hollywood. He brought tape from the future of Seth singing "We Saw Your Boobs," which is pretty much what it sounds like. He names actresses and movies where we saw their boobs.
"Helen Hunt, we saw them in The Sessions, Scarlett Johansen we saw them on our phone/ Jessica Chastain we your boobs in Lawless, Jodie Foster in The Accused....and Kate Winslet in Heavenly Creatures, and Jude, and Hamlet, and Titantic, and Iris, and Little Children and the Reader and whatever you're shooting right now, we saw your boobs!"
Seth introduces his backing singers: The Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles. Seth clarifies he's not a member of the chorus.
"Oh trust me, in 2015, you join the chorus," Shatner says.
Seth asks how he fixes things. Shatner suggests he do a song that celebrates the Oscars. He introduces Channing Tatum and Charlize Theron and breaks into "The Way You Look Tonight." They do a lovely ballroom dance soft shoe as Seth stands still and sings.
Then, more Shatner. He checks the headlines: Seth MacFarlane: Pretty Bad Oscar Host.
Next, a re-enactment of "Flight" entirely with sock puppets. For the plane flipping over scene, we see socks in a dryer.
Shatner encourages Seth to dance, he introduces Daniel Radcliffe and Joseph Gordon Levitt and the trio taps and sings a solid "High Hopes."
The headline changes to "Seth MacFarlane proves to be pretty mediocre Oscar host."
Shatner tells him he was really rude to a legendary actress. Cut to him in the green room with Sally Field, telling her how hot she was as the Flying Nun and Gidget. Then mentioning it again. She's uncomfortable. She mentions one of the other actresses might win, then says "Hell, they're going to give it to Anne," and starts making out with him.
Cut to a Trans Am, taking off in the parking garage, Smokey and the Bandit-style.
Shatner explains that he messed everything up by going home with Sally Field because she was supposed to win. Instead, Amy Adams ran up and grabbed it and bit a guy. Shatner suggests a show stopper. Seth starts a riff on "Be Our Guest."
"Be our guest, be our guest, as we honor all the best, with a telecast designed to put your patience to the test/ There's Joaquin, look at his threads, we hope he's on his meds/ Daniel Day, we love the beard, but Lincoln's voice was kinda weird...."
His back-up dancers return for the final round.
Tomorrow's headline pops up: "Best Oscars ever, says everyone except Entertainment Weekly."
Octavia Spencer is out to present best supporting actor, noting that everyone nominated has won at least once before.
And the Oscar goes to: Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained.
(The first upset of the evening!)
He acknowledges his fellow nominees and Quentin Tarantino and his costars before getting into names we don't recognize. Addressing Quentin again: "You scaled the mountain because you're not afraid of it, you slayed the dragon because you're not afraid of it and you cross through fire, because it's worth it -- I borrowed my character's words, sorry, couldn't resist," he wraps up.
(Cut to Jack Nicholson in the audience, he's wearing sunglasses. Of course he is.)
Seth introduces Paul Rudd and Melissa McCarthy ("Ladies and gentlemen, see if you can tell them apart.")
They do a bit about an actor's voice being a chameleon. Paul Rudd does a robot pig who just wants to learn how to swim. Melissa tries one, in her natural voice. Neither of them get a lot of voice work.
Nominees for best animated short film roll. The Oscar goes to: Paperman.
Director John Kahrs thanks the Academy for actually getting the screeners out to everyone this year, then thanks Disney and his family.
Then Best Animated Feature Film. The Oscar goes to: Brave.
Mark Andrews accepts the award in his pastel blue and brown kilt. He's not discernibly Scottish. Brenda Chapman acknowledges her daughter as an inspiration for the film.
Reese Witherspoon is out next to recap the first three Best Picture nominees, Les Miserables, Life of Pi and Beasts of the Southern Wild. Clips from each roll.
Seth points out Quvenzhane Wallis, at nine years old, is the youngest nominee ever. "Let me just address those of you up for an award: So you got nominated for an Oscar, something a nine year old could do."
Seth says Quvenzhane is adorable, back stage she said she hoped she didn't lose to "that old lady, Jennifer Lawrence."
"To give you an idea of how young she is, it'll be 16 years before she's too young for Clooney," Seth says, then braces for impact. He apologizes, then tosses George a minibar bottle of Jack Daniels.
Next up, almost all the stars of The Avengers: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, to extol the virtues of cinematography, including hiding the fact one of them had to stand on an apple box to be the same height as the rest.
Claudio Miranda wins for Life of Pi. (He has long flowing silver locks, which just seems worth noting.)
He babbles about what a great experience it was, then realizes he "can't even speak." He wraps up.
Back to The Avengers, arguing over whether to do the scripted bit for Achievement in Visual Effects. (The Avengers is nominated.)
The Oscar goes to Life of Pi. The winners get played off by "Jaws" and as he's acknowledging the failing Rhythm and Hues FX company, they finally cut the microphone.
We're back with wigs and racks of clothing behind Seth. "Of our next two presenters, at least one is honest about being a former exotic dancer. Please welcome Channing Tatum and Jennifer Aniston."
They're presenting make-up and behind the scenes artists. Channing, star of the stripper movie Magic Mike, acknowledges their difficult waxing work.
But first, nominees for costume design. The Oscar goes to Jacqueline Durran for Anna Karenina. She thanks her team and family, including her children fast asleep in England.
On to nominees for make-up and hair styling. The Oscar goes to Les Miserables, Lisa Westcot and Julie Dartnell, one of whom is wearing hot pink tights.
They're British and brief, thanking team and families.
Next up, Halle Berry to introduce Fifty Years of Bond, with clips from the films and a rousing soundtrack. Please begin debating the best Bonds now. (1. From Russia With Love, 2. Goldfinger, 3. On Her Majesty's Secret Service...)
Then out comes Shirley Bassey, dressed, naturally, in gold, to sing Goldfinger. She gets a standing ovation.
Out next, Django stars Kerry Washington and Jamie Foxx to introduce live action shorts.
The Oscar goes to Curfew, by Shawn Christensen. (Side note: Jamie Foxx appears to have a back-of-the-head tattoo. When did this happen?)
Shawn thanks his 12-year-old costar and "devilishly handsome father" among the rest of his family.
Then the nominees for documentary short subject. Innocente wins. Sean fine and Andrea Nix Fine acknowledge their film's subject, who was homeless a year ago. Sean makes a plea for supporting the arts.
Liam Neeson is up to introduce Best Picture nominees Argo, Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty.
Clips from each roll.
Seth points out Daniel Day Lewis is the second actor to be nominated for playing Lincoln. "Although I would argue the actor who really got inside Lincoln's head was John Wilkes Booth."
The audience oohs.
"Really, 150 years and it's still too soon, huh? I got some Napoleon jokes coming up, you guys are going to be so mad."
He addresses Ben Affleck, then sees a joke he thought was cut on the teleprompter. "The first time I saw him with all that dark facial hair I thought, my god, the Kardashians have finally made the jump to film."
The audience laughs. "OK, alright, so it worked. This is why it's live."
And the next presenter happens to be Ben Affleck. "I actually thought the show was going pretty well, but maybe you can turn it around," he ad libs.
He introduces Best Documentary Feature, which goes to Searching for Sugar Man. The "Jaws" music starts up again at the end.
Next up, Jennifer Garner and Jessica Chastain to present Best Foreign Language Film.
The Oscar goes to Amour from Austria. If the director is excited to win, it doesn't show.
Seth pauses to acknowledge the orchestra, performing live up the street at Capitol Studios. (That's not a joke -- they're really not in the building.)
Out next, John Travolta, who tells the audience he has a big treat for them. The cast of Les Miz is going to perform, along with Jennifer Hudson from Dreamgirls and Catherine Zeta-Jones from Chicago.
Zeta-Jones kicks things off, in a slinky number that no one has a right to look that good in, singing "All that Jazz" with backing dancers.
Clips from Dreamgirls change the scene and Jennifer Hudson comes out to sing "You're Gonna Love Me."
Then the Les Miz folks -- all of them -- singing the hell out of "One More Day."
They get a standing ovation.
Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana are out to recap the Scientific and Technical Awards, which they hosted. A lot of smart men won a lot of awards for figuring out how to do cool stuff in movies.
Seth introduces the stars of his movie, Ted. Mark Wahlberg and the talking stuffed bear that MacFarlane voices, Ted. He stands on a stool and desperately pleads with the audience to tell him where the Hollywood post-Oscar orgy is.
"I'm really good at sex and I can bring sodas and snacks and soap and stuff," Ted says.
"Alright, it's at Jack Nicholson's house," Wahlberg says.
They introduce best sound mixing. The Oscar goes to Les Miserables.
Back to Ted and Wahlberg. Ted encourages Wahlberg to claim to be Jewish to get somewhere in Hollywood. "I was born Theodore Shapiro and I would like to donate money to Israel and continue to work in Hollywood forever. Thank you, I am Jewish," Ted says.
"You're an idiot," Wahlberg tells him.
"We'll see who the idiot when they give me my private plane at the next secret synagogue meeting," Ted says.
On to the nominees for best sound editing. Wahlberg pauses as he opens the envelope. There's a tie, he assures us there's no "b.s."
The first goes to Zero Dark Thirty to Paul N. J. Ottosson , who remembers winning two for Hurt Locker for each of his parents and his son asking where his was.
The second Oscar goes to Skyfall.
The next presenter is Christopher Plummer, head of the Von Trapp Family Singers. Seth gestures to the door dramatically, in a riff from the "Sound of Music." No one comes out, he does it again, a Nazi comes out and announces they're gone.
Then Christopher Plummer actually comes out on stage, calling for a new song as the orchestra plays "The Sound of Music."
He's presenting Best Supporting Actress.
The Oscar goes to: Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables, who does not even pretend to be surprised.
"It came true," she says. She thanks Hugh Jackman and the sound wizards who just won, then a bunch of industry people and her "team."
"Here's hoping that someday in the not-too-distant future the misfortunes of Fantine will only be found in stories and nevermore in real life, thank you."
Seth introduces the president of the Academy (and we catch a glimpse of Harvey Weinstein rushing to get back to his seat late).
He introduces the winners of a contest about what they would contribute to movie-making, six college students who are also serving as star shepherders on stage.
More Seth: "Our next presenter played a raging alcoholic in 28 Days, which is kind of a coincidence because I'm going to be playing one in about an hour and 45 minutes."
Sandra Bullock is out to present Achievement in Film Editing, which goes to William Goldenberg for Argo, who thanks the whole team and says he shares it with Ben Affleck.
Jennifer Lawrence is out to present Adele singing Skyfall (and seems to be a bundle of nerves).
Adele successfully carries the torch Shirley Bassey rekindled earlier in the evening.
Nicole Kidman introduces more Best Picture Nominees: Silver Linings Playbook, Django Unchained and Amour.
Daniel Radcliffe and Kristen Stewart present the nominees for achievement in production design. The Oscar goes to Lincoln. Rick Carter, the production designer, says they all tried to be worthy of the legacy of the story they were telling. "I just thank you and I love my wife," he says.
Salma Hayek is up next to recap the Governors Awards, which honored three men: Hal Needham, DA Pennebaker and George Stevens, Jr. Jeffrey Katzenberg received the Humanitarian Award. We see clips of the ceremony, which apparently everyone in Hollywood attended.
George Clooney (and beard) is up next to introduce the In Memoriam segment, featuring Ernest Borgnine, Jack Klugman, Michael Clarke Duncan, Charles Durning, director Tony Scott, Nora Ephron and many others.
Then Barbra Streisand comes out to honor Marvin Hamlisch and the "Memories" they have. She sings.
Seth notes that this is the tenth anniversary of the win of "Chicago," which made musicals popular again. He wants to bring out the stars, "because we're concerned the show isn't gay enough yet."
Richard Gere, Renee Zellweger, Queen Latifah and Catherine Zeta-Jones introduce the nominees for Best Original Score. The Oscar goes to: Life of Pi, Mychael Danna.
He acknowledges the musicians from around the world who came together to record the score.
On to Best Original Song, including "Everybody Needs a Best Friend," the nominee from "Ted," written by Seth MacFarlane. Norah Jones comes out to sing it.
The Oscar goes to: Skyfall. Adele gets halfway through her thanks and chokes up, ending by thanking her man and handing it over to her songwriting partner Paul Epworth.
Dustin Hoffman and Charlize Theron are out next. He throws her off by telling her she's a good dancer, people still conscious at this point vaguely recall Charlize danced in the opening.
Then they present nominees for adapted screenplay. The Oscar goes to: Chris Terrio for Argo. He thanks former best screenplay winner Ben Affleck for making his dream come true and dedicates it to Tony Mendez, the real man behind the story.
Then nominees for original screenplay, which goes to "Mr. Tarantino," as Dustin Hoffman reads it.
Quentin Tarantino appears to be wearing a leather tie. "That's very cool, Charlize is my neighbor, how nice to get this from you," he says.
He gives credit to his great cast, by saying he did a great job casting them. The music swells, but then cuts when he starts up again, saying that it's an honor to win this year, a writer's year.
"Our next presenters are Hollywood legends, going back to the '70s and '80s, they remember when this town was cocaine trees as far as the eye could see," Seth says.
He notes they're both children of Hollywood legends, which just proves the old adage that Hollywood people make great parents.
Jane Fonda and Michael Douglas present the nominees for best director, which goes to Ang Li for "Life of Pi."
He gets a standing ovation.
"Thank you, movie god," he says. He thanks the 3,000 person crew and the cast, "you're the golden statue in my heart." He thanks his lawyer and agent, then adds "I have to do that."
Jean Dujardin is out next to present best actress. The Oscar goes to Jennifer Lawrence for "Silver Linings Playbook."
She falls going up the stairs. She gets a standing ovation.
"You guys are just standing up because you feel really bad that I fell and that's embarrassing, but thank you," she says.
She thanks the Academy and the other actresses she's gotten to know throughout award seasons. She says happy birthday to fellow nominee Emmanuelle Riva.
"Ladies and gentlemen, our next presenter needs no introduction," Seth Macfarlane says. Then he walks away, giving no introduction.
Meryl Streep is out to present nominees for best actor. The Oscar goes to Daniel Day-Lewis for "Lincoln," who becomes the first actor to win three Oscars in the lead actor category.
He gets a standing ovation and gives Meryl a big hug. "I really don't know how any of this happened. I do know that I've received more than my fair share of good fortune and I'm so grateful to the Academy for this incredible honor," he says.
He's very somber and serious as he goes on to say, "It's a strange thing because three years ago, before we decided to do a straight swap, I had actually been committed to play Margaret Thatcher and Meryl was Steven's first choice for Lincoln and I'd like to see that version. Steven didn't have to persuade me to play Lincoln, but I had persuade him that if I was going to do it perhaps Lincoln shouldn't be a musical... Since we got married 16 years ago my wife Rebecca has lived with some very strange men. They were strange as individuals and perhaps even stranger when taken as a group. Luckily, she's the versatile one in the family and she's been the perfect companion to all of them."
He thanks Tony Kushner, Steven Spielberg and "the mysterious beautiful mind, body and spirit of Abraham Lincoln."
Finally, Jack Nicholson comes out to present best picture. He turns to Michelle Obama, live from the White House.
She makes a pitch for the arts for kids is handed the envelope. She announces the winner is: Argo.
Producer Grant Heslov opens it up, acknowledging his fellow producers George Clooney and Ben Affleck: "I know what, you're thinking, three sexiest producers alive."
He promises to thank everyone in person over the next few weeks. He says it would be awkward for Ben Affleck, the director , to thank himself, so he's doing it.
Then he turns it over to Ben, who starts by acknowledging Steven Spielberg "a towering genius." He worries about running out of time as he thanks everyone he can think of, including Canada, Iran and is wife, who he doesn't usually associate with Iran.
He remembers being at the Oscars 15 years ago, and not thinking he'd ever be back, but gives credit to many of the people in the room who helped him get there. He also learned that you can't hold grudges, even though it's hard.
Seth MacFarlane and Kristin Chenoweth wrap things up with a ditty, "Here's to the Losers," which everybody hears as they rush to the bars.