• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Oscar ceremony promises viewers big laughs

February 23, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
While Oscar preparations continue on Hollywood Boulevard, others are focusing more on what will go on inside the ceremony, and show producers are promising big laughs.

Check out Oscar.com and make your picks on who you think will win at this year's Academy Awards

"Comedy is the main difference compared to last year's show," said Oscar producer/director Don Mischer. 'We have made a commitment to make it funny, and that's been reflected in our host, it's been reflected in our bookings and in some of the other pieces we do, so we're hoping all that works."

While they say they are still putting finishing touches on the show, they are warning viewers that host Billy Crystal's opening medley and film compilation are not to be missed.

Crystal is a veteran Academy Award host and will lead the show for the ninth time on Sunday. But the comedian is downplaying his comeback.

"To find that way to come back, there's so much expected of this. I would just tell people to please lower your expectations," Crystal said.

Crystal also took his humor to Twitter.

"First rehearsal: They said keep it 'fresh and new.' This from an industry that just brought us Fast & Furious 5 and Harry Potter 7, part 2," he wrote.

Eyewitness News won't be the only station broadcasting live from the red carpet. Journalists from around the world have been pouring into Hollywood all week, like Katia Hayes, who hails from Russia

"Anything to do with American film is big in Russia because people still watch a lot of American movies," said Hayes.

Meanwhile, Oscar crews say they are ahead of schedule and are working on final touches, such as painting the bleachers, tasting the food and setting the stage for Hollywood's biggest night.

"I've been doing this for like over six years, and this has actually been the most pleasant of the six years," said Robert Rang, the art director for the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences.

Watch a LIVE cam, as crews transform the streets for Oscar Sunday.

Rang said the preparations are ahead of schedule mostly because the weather has been cooperating. Crews did not have to set up a rain canopy as they did last year.

"That usually takes a good day out of our work. So right now, we're actually at the point of putting the finishing touches on the red carpet," said Rang.

Approximately 2.5 miles of red carpet was officially rolled out on Wednesday outside what was formerly the Kodak Theatre, renamed the Hollywood & Highland Center.

The red carpet will be shielded by a plastic cover to keep it pristine until Sunday. The bleachers and press stands have also been set up.

View an interactive map of all closures expected this week.

A change for the red carpet this year will be the signs reading "Kodak Theatre." Many such signs were covered up on Thursday with black cloth.

The main Kodak Theatre sign has not been covered up yet, and a decision has not been made on whether to cover that sign along with the others. Rang says they just may ask camera crews to not shoot that sign.

But there will be other things that will be visible to those lucky enough to be on the red carpet.

"From the archives of the Academy, we have vintage photos of the winners from 84 years. So as they come in and they're waiting to go through and check their tickets and stuff, they're going to be looking at some of the 84 years of the Academy," Rang described.

Check out moments in Oscar history on the interactive timeline available on the official Oscar.com website.

Oscar.com also hosts the official Oscar blog, which will feature red carpet fashion trends and tips from chef and lifestyle experts for hosting the best Oscar party.

Leading up to the ceremony, "On The Red Carpet" co-host Rachel Smith will be doing interviews with hair and fashion stylists and makeup artists for the "Best Dressed" video series featured on Oscar.com.

The awards ceremony will air live on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012 on ABC7.

  • Live coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. PT with On The Red Carpet at the Oscars.
  • Live coverage of red carpet arrivals begins at 4 p.m.
  • The 84th annual Academy Awards starts at 5:30 p.m.
  • A complete wrap-up of the winners and after parties starts at 8:30 p.m.

OnTheRedCarpet.com will have complete coverage of the Oscar season, including an exclusive interactive live stream show LIVE from the red carpet. Follow @OnTheRedCarpet on Twitter and "Like" On The Red Carpet on Facebook, and download our FREE entertainment news app for the iPhone and iPad.