Gillian Flynn
January 13, 2006 AT 05:00 AM EST

With The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart set to host ABC’s Oscar telecast on March 5, here are a few suggestions for what we’d like to see, and what should be eschewed.

1.  TAKE OVER THE OSCAR PRESHOW Ranging from Meredith Vieira-manic to Geena Davis-odd to whoever-it-was-last-year unmemorable, the preshow is always a train wreck. Why not bring over Ed Helms and the gang to at least make it funny too?

2.  MOCK?WITHIN REASON There is a Tucker Carlson line. Walk that line, Stewart! (See, we’ve already taken care of one movie-related pun for you.) Don’t be afraid to use your ability to sniff out hypocrisy and ridicule it mercilessly. The telecast is a big, self-congratulatory affair packed with celebs who need a good old-fashioned teasing from Jon Stewart, Oscar host. That said, this is not a night for trenchant analysis — leave that to Jon Stewart, The Daily Show host, on March 6.

3.  MAKE AT LEAST THREE ‘DEATH TO SMOOCHY’ REFERENCES The movie career hasn’t been Oscar-caliber. Or even People’s Choice-caliber. May we suggest some typically self-effacing outtakes from The Faculty or Mixed Nuts? And hey, just mentioning Half Baked is partway to comedy gold.

4.  AVOID JOKES ABOUT THE LENGTH OF THE TELECAST Thing is, the show is always endless and there’s nothing funny about it: Commenting on the overrun is as stale as an Uma-Oprah joke. (Which we dispatched for you too.)

5.  GIVE US A FEW ”MOMENTS OF ZEN” If you’re going to import any segment from The Daily Show, take some time to replay particularly awkward and embarrassing parts of the night?your best joke flops, overly honest audience reaction shots, and those enigmatic winners who try to walk off the stage the wrong way despite two hours of watching how it should be done.

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