Since 1976, Buz Kohan (middle in the above photo) has written for 20 Oscar ceremonies. He seems to enjoy the job, but admits that, not surprisingly, it comes with several caveats — like dealing with bad hosts, worse presenters and annoying writers.
In an interview with Vulture, Kohan starts off by dishing on the Oscar writing process, as well as how some method actors have trouble delivering the lines that were written for them.
“Some of them are wonderful actors but they’re just uncomfortable being themselves,” admits Kohan. “I’ve dealt with him so many times, but it’s painful watching Robert De Niro be Robert De Niro on camera.”
Buz also discusses the dynamic between the two sets of writers (one usually belongs to the host for that year, the other is the show’s general staff assigned to come up presenter jokes and miscellaneous musical numbers). There usually wasn’t “crossover” between the groups — but there was always an exception.
“I don’t want to give him any more publicity than he already gets for himself, but the real crossover was the starf–ker Bruce Vilanch. We would hire him and then he would ingratiate himself with whoever was the host. He would be zipping back and forth, bowing a lot.”
Buz goes on to talk about the days of Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal’s return and what he thinks Eddie Murphy would have done on the show. You can read the entire interview over on Vulture.