For some in Newport-Mesa, the 85th annual Academy Awards telecast may have prompted a three-word response: "Oh, hey, guys."
Within minutes of the show's beginning, William Shatner, who recently brought his one-man show to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, appeared on a massive screen in a sketch with host Seth MacFarlane. "Inocente," which played last month at the Irvine International Film Festival, won for Best Documentary Short. And somewhere in that crowd was Gene Allen, the former Academy president who lives in Newport Beach.
Some of those local ties were expected; Allen has been a regular face at the show since the 1950s, and at least one pundit predicted "Inocente's" victory. On the other hand, Shatner's appearance — in which he beamed himself in from the future to prevent MacFarlane from bombing as host — came as a surprise.