By Gregory Kirschling
Updated March 12, 2004 at 05:00 AM EST

-0:02 Just as the preshow ends, Billy Bush can’t resist an ”Uma…Oprah” joke, which bodes ill for the evening ahead.

0:02 Billy Crystal naked once!

0:03 Billy Crystal naked twice!

0:04 Billy Crystal naked — it’s the hat trick!

0:18 Lookin’ sharp in your Jack Nicholson shades there, Michael Douglas.

0:21 Let the waterworks begin! Susan Sarandon is the first to crack when partner Tim Robbins wins big.

0:31 LOTR: ROTK wins its first Oscar, for art direction: Hey, what’s that LOTR tune the orchestra’s playing? It’s awfully fun and catchy. Hope we get to hear it again!

0:37 Geek alert No. 1! Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton confesses that he sent his future wife, Julie, an ”I love you” note in eighth grade. Julie, however, looks just as embarrassed by him now as she did in the eighth grade.

0:45 Geek alert No. 2! After thanking the ”armorers” and ”weapons makers,” LOTR costume designer Richard Taylor talks about giving his partner ”two live rats” when she was 13.

0:55 Tom Hanks’ eyes are a-sparkle by the end of his Bob Hope tribute. Hot on your heels, Susan!

1:08 Glasses on, glasses off. Which is it, Liv Tyler?

1:27 Yet another embarrassed wife: Jada Pinkett Smith smiles through her exasperation as Will goes off script.

1:49 Geek alert No. 3! The LOTR ”two live rats” guy wins again, for makeup, and this time he uses the phrase ”on-set prosthetic applications” in his speech. The man cannot be stopped!

1:53 LOTR takes sound mixing. Beginning to get a wee bit tired of the LOTR Oscar theme…

1:56 We see you trying to stifle a yawn, Adrien Brody!

2:09 ”Hey, did John Cusack just wink at me?”

2:17 Billy didn’t call Academy president Frank Pierson a ”weapon of mass sleep induction” for nothing: Check out that dude dozing behind Diane Keaton!

2:19 In the evening’s only upset, John Ritter wins the death-montage applause-o-meter, topping Elia Kazan, Alan Bates, and more. So many people died this year, in fact, that the audience pretty much stops applauding before the montage ends. Poor unheralded Jeanne Crain.

2:28 Howard Shore, the man behind the evening’s seasickness-inducing LOTR Oscar theme, wins an Oscar. Damn you, Howard Shore!

2:45 Will Ferrell and Jack Black’s song, ”You’re Boring,” is — what do you know? — the least boring moment of the evening.

2:47 Annie Lennox wins Best Original Song. And boy, is Enya peeved!

3:21 Try as she might, yes, Charlize Theron is crying. And she brought her mom — who’s also crying. More reason to cry: Theron’s ”partner in crime” (and the evening’s luckiest unlucky actor), Stuart Townsend, was the original Aragorn; he was replaced a week into filming LOTR by Viggo Mortensen.

3:35 LOTR wins Best Picture. Nine hours of movie music to choose from and again with the sailor’s hornpipe? Now we’re the ones who are crying.