Ellen Degenres’ pizza gag during the Oscar ceremony this year was either the best part of the show, or exactly what was wrong with the telecast, depending on who you ask. According to Rainn Wilson, the gag ended up taking nearly 13 minutes, and in a show that’s often critisized for running too long, maybe the extra 13 minutes wasn’t worth it? Neil Patrick Harris — a veteran of awards show hosting — thought the bit ran too long, for instance.
In the moment it may have ran long, but for better or worse, I thought it was the most memorable segment of this year’s Oscars, which wasn’t exactly big on memorable moments (most of the other big moments happened either before or after the Oscars).
As to the pizza guy, his name is Edgar, and yesterday there was some suggestion that Ellen stiffed him on the tip. Not so: Degeneres just wanted to turn the tip into another nice television moment, giving Edgar a $1,000 tip on her show yesterday.
And yes: That pizza guy had no idea when he showed up that he’d be taken out on stage. In fact, the Oscar producers tried to get an actor to deliver the pizzas, but Ellen — to her credit — insisted that it be real, and insisted that it be a huge surprise to the delivery guy.
It was, as he explains here: