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Watch Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscars Monologue

The 2014 Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, started off with a bang. The comedienne, who previously hosted seven years ago, took the stage and immediately made it her own. Like any host worth her salt, she took the material given to her and blended it with her own specific persona, giving the telecast a gentle and amusing start.

After last year’s raunchy and off-putting opening monologue by Seth MacFarlane, DeDeneres’ no-frills, friendly approach was a nice change of pace. Sure, the jokes aren’t that great and the total lack of flash made it one of the most old-fashioned starts to an Oscar ceremony that we’ve seen in years, but it also means the show hit the ground running without getting bogged down in too many gimmicks.

Our favorite gag saw DeGeneres directly addressing ‘American Hustle’ nominee (and internet sweetheart) Jennifer Lawrence and bringing up last year’s ceremony, where she stumbled while attempting to walk onto the stage to accept her statuette for ‘Silver Linings Playbook.’ It was the only point where the opening monologue threatened to get a little mean-spirited, but DeGeneres makes her Lawrence-trolling feel like two friends poking fun at each other rather than a nasty jab. Unfortunately, it’s the only joke that really stands out … everything else is amusing, but the general lack of real bite makes the jokes vanish moments after you laugh.

But hey, better funny and forgettable than bad and unforgettable, right?

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