Oscars 2014: Grade Host Ellen DeGeneres' Opening Monologue!

Ellen DeGeneres Oscars 2014When ABC announced that Ellen DeGeneres would once again host the 2014 Academy Awards, a few things were a given.

You knew there’d be humor — but any barbs would be gentle and good-natured. You knew the comedienne would riff on the same, isn’t-this-cool? vibe that makes her daytime talk show so much fun. And you knew there’d be dancing. (There had to be dancing!)

RELATED | Oscars 2014 Red Carpet: The Best and Worst Moments

DeGeneres didn’t disappoint — well, a little on the dancing side — during her opening monologue to Sunday’s ceremony.

Among her best moments:

• DeGeneres got the Los Angeles weather joke out of the way right off the bat. “It has been raining,” she said solemnly. “We’re fine. Thank you for your prayers.”

• DeGeneres noted that when she last hosted, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep and Martin Scorsese were nominated (as they are this year). “Soooo different,” she joked.

• The closest the comedienne got to snarky was when she called out attendee Liza Minelli as the best Liza Minelli impersonator she’d ever seen. “Good job, sir.”

• After waxing touchy-feely about how everyone was a winner, DeGeneres got real. “Who are we kidding? It’s The Hunger Games. There are cameras everywhere, you’re starving, Jennifer Lawrence won last year…”

• Jonah Hill seemed tickled when DeGeneres said that, in the nudity-filled Wolf of Wall Street, “You showed us something in that film I have not seen in a very, very long time,” then cheekily added, “Get it?”

• She noted that the night was full of possibilities. Possibility Number 1: 12 Years a Slave would win Best Picture. “Possibility Number 2: You’re all racists.”

Press PLAY to watch DeGeneres in action:

What did you think of Ellen’s opening monologue? Grade it via the poll below, and then back up your choice in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. WonderWaage says:

    She is a very talented host.

  2. CourtTV says:

    Liked the Liza bit. Thought Hunger Games fell flat.

  3. JON says:

    No video?

  4. Patrick says:

    Wow. A lesbian taking a shot at Liza. Game on, gay men. GAME ON.

    • Erin says:

      Nah, Liza would have LOVED that joke.

      • S. says:

        Liza didn’t like it at all. She wasn’t make a sour face as a joke. She remarked on it later when Ellen wanted a selfie with her. Cher would’ve thought it was funny. Liza gets the joke most of the time, but she didn’t enjoy that tonight.

        • TV Gord says:

          I think the audience reaction played into her not liking it. They reacted as though it crossed a line because of the truth in Ellen’s joke. I’m sure Ellen didn’t mean for it to be as insulting as it was, but the audience kind of took it that way…and it was not a good moment for Liza.

        • dan says:

          Liza’s sister Lorna Luft loved it, she was laughing hysterically! I think they’ve had a rocky relationship and Lorna enjoyed her half-sister being the butt of Ellen’s joke. Eventually Liza laughed, but it was hard to see any expression on her overly-botoxed face.

  5. karla says:

    Omg i love u ellen i hope i see u some day wish u the best

  6. Gina says:

    I’m at home watching and its great to see the fun of all the star’s :)

  7. deeKaytee says:

    E:;em is fantastic!! Love her!

  8. Mel Eiteljorge says:

    I love Ellen but only gave her “above average” because of her closing remarks. She insinuated that Twelve Years a Slave could only lose if voters were racists. Not fair. There were equally good films nominated this year.

    • Rissa says:

      I think she was poking fun at the people who actually believe that to be true.

    • ben says:

      A joke is generally not intended to be taken literally. The reason the joke is funny is because we know (and we know that Ellen knows) that its not actually true, but that there would still be people out there who would accuse Hollywood of exactly that.

    • Josh says:

      So towards the end you forgot what jokes were? You know Liza Minnelli wasn’t a dude, right?

  9. Jon says:

    I was expecting a big dance number with her dancers from the Oscars promo commercial. Oh well, the night is still young.

  10. Angela says:

    I got a good laugh out of that last quote about ’12 Years a Slave’. Cute. Her line about how the people nominated for awards this year was so different from the last time she hosted was good, too.
    Nice monologue. Quick, breezy way to ease the viewers into the ceremonies.

  11. nikki says:

    It was perfect!

  12. Outis says:

    I like Ellen and while her opening was mediocre, it’s been pretty downhill from there other than the missing her mark bit. That “Is everyone hungry” bit was straight up terrible and then she fumbled the punch line that wasn’t getting any laughs anyway. Funniest line of the night was from Jim Carrey.

    • alistaircrane says:

      Haters gun’ hate.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I agree I find Ellen to be a disappointment this evening.

    • Britta Unfiltered says:

      She was way too tame and bland. I was bored. It didn’t seem like she prepared very much. I laughed at a few things, but I thought many of the past hosts have done a lot better and put more of themselves into the hosting job. I miss the old days of the Billy Crystal introductory sketches where he put himself in the nominated movies. Even Seth MacFarlane had much better stuff going on last year.

      • TV Gord says:

        You are exactly right on every point.

        • Leigh says:

          Agreed…..I don’t know how much actual content Ellen provided vs. the writers…she seemed almost uncomfortably bland. Welcome…okay somewhat current but not funny…pizza bit just a time waster and went on and on and on. Ah-h…I bring back Billy or Hugh Jackman…..The show would only have benefited from a bit of Seth McFarlane…I did like the the tribute to those lost this year but the placing of Phillip Seymour Hoffman at the end was inappropriate. Why not do it chronologically March to March? The 75th birthday celebration should have included all the great movies from 1939……The Wizard of Oz was not the only great movie of that year.

  13. Andrew says:

    I was very underwhelmed with Ellen tonight. Her timing is off, some of the jokes just aren’t funny and you can feel the crowd waiting, wondering when to laugh. I expect more from her.

  14. anthony says:

    humdrum would be an understatement

  15. Tom says:

    Bring back Billy Crystal. What’s so funny about giving pizza to members of the audience?

  16. She paid so much attention to Jonah Hill’s nude scene. I’d say Ellen has penis envy

  17. ben says:

    Weird. Poll up there says 60% loved it. Comments down here are a whole lot of people not liking it.

    • S. says:

      It took 30 minutes to get to the 2nd award. I was so confused why that happened. There weren’t enough comedy moments or moving tributes to justify that.

  18. David4 says:

    I liked what I saw fine. It’s an awards show, I expect some silly jokes and then 4 hours of boredom.

  19. judy says:

    Loved her monologue but for some reason was expecting her to dance as advertised. All in all thought she was great.

  20. Allyson says:

    I think she was trying to find a balance of being a good host and making sure she didn’t steal the spotlight from the Oscar Nominees. It truly is their night. I thought she did a good job.

  21. TV Gord says:

    I can’t believe I feel this way, because I love Ellen, but I was really disappointed. I didn’t find much to laugh at in her monologue, and her bits during the show fell flat with me. I was glad when the pizza arrived, because I thought that was an unfunny time-waster. I don’t think I have ever NOT liked her in anything before (didn’t see Mr. Wrong, mind you ;-) ), but this was a big zero to me.

    • The Beach says:

      I like Ellen too but last night she seemed to be so afraid to step on some very important (self-important?) toes that she was just bland.

  22. Liz says:

    Ellen didn’t bring it. She was bragging that she makes jokes but never at the expense of someone’s feelings. Guess that wasn’t a true statement tonight was it. I agree with Andrew…audience was waiting for the punch line. I’m still waiting.

  23. Liz says:

    Ellen was fantastic!!! Loved it. Hopefully they will bring her back next year!

  24. TV Gord says:

    After weeks of promoting that she was going to have a live post-Oscars special on her show this morning, it’s a rerun…and a crawl across the screen says the special post-Oscars show will be tomorrow. Another “fail”.

    • wmjindsm says:

      The show is recording live at 2PM ET. So if your station airs the show before this time you will get Tuesday’s show. If you see the show after 2PM ET, you should get the Oscar show.

      • TV Gord says:

        Not this one, though. She promoted for weeks that this be done live this morning and aired the same day everywhere. Even today’s repeat included a promo that today’s show (now tomorrow’s) would air just hours after the Oscar show ended. There were even promos during the Oscars telecast (here in Canada, where the Oscars and Ellen air on the same network) pushed that this morning’s show would be live.

  25. Julie says:

    My favorite part was when Ellen was teasing Jennifer Lawrence about falling AGAIN. lol JLaw was great about it. I love when people can laugh at themselves.

  26. sarah says:

    Ellen did a great job!
    I am not sure why this year and last year they started the Oscar’s at 630pm central time. It always goes longer than the 3 hours and they should have started it at 700pm central.
    Meryl Streep’s husband sure is a sour puss! He did not smile or anything whenever the panned to Meryl she was smiling or laughing and her husband had this rude look on his face!

  27. Daniel says:

    I thought the Liza joke was funny. Or when she said that are all racists: and here is our first white presenter, LOL so funny. The Selfie-moment was Really awesome. Ellen can Come back anytime to present the Oscars

  28. joyce brewster says:

    Please give her the job EVERY YEAR!!