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Posted at 11:15 PM ET, 03/31/2011

James Franco and David Letterman exchange bad Oscar host tips [video]

The worst Oscar host ever will be interviewed by the second-worst ever on Friday night’s “Late Show.”

CBS sent reporters a short clip of David Letterman’s exchange with this year’s Oscars co-host James Franco. The segment was taped Thursday and is scheduled to air Friday on Letterman’s CBS late-night talk show.

Oh, and in case you were wondering why Franco -- the worst ever -- was so bad co-hosting the movie trophy show this past February?

It was co-host Anne Hathaway’s fault.

People said I was under the influence,” Franco told Letterman -- a.k.a. the second worst Oscar host ever.

“Now, why would do they say that?” Letterman faux-wondered.

“I’ve thought about it. I think I know why. Because -– I love her -– but Anne Hathaway is so energetic, I think the Tasmanian Devil would look stoned standing next to Anne Hathaway,” Franco smirked, sitting on Letterman’s guest-chair in his ultra plus ne all-black suit, shirt, socks, shoes, and tie.

“I haven’t watched it back. Maybe I had low energy,” Franco acknowledged begrudgingly. “ I honestly played those lines as well as I could,” he said.

And by ‘playing his lines as well as he could,” he means: Never looking at Hathaway because my eyes were glued the whole time to the cue cards I appeared to be seeing for the first time during the live performance, while Hathaway gave CPR to the show for about three hours plus.

At one point, Hathaway actually put her arm around Franco and asked the crowd to congratulate him on the fine job he was doing.

Naturally, Franco had to repay her gesture in some small way. Like calling her a tightly wound chick around whom any laid-back guy like himself would appear to be stoned.

Anyway, getting back to this interesting give-and-take between the two worst-ever Oscar hosts:

“Let me ask you a question. ‘What the hell do you care?’,” Letterman asked, cutting to the nub.

“It’s complicated because, no, I never dreamed of being, like, the best Oscar host ever. … It wasn’t never on my list of thing to do,” Franco acknowledged.

“ It doesn’t mean I didn’t care and it doesn’t mean I didn’t try hard. Right?” Franco continued.

“But -- here’s the hypocritical thing. Leading up to Oscars, I couldn’t hear enough about how, ‘Oh, people don’t’ care about the Oscars any more, it’s dead, it’s boring, it’s at the end of a long awards season, who cares about it?’ Well, as soon as you don’t host the way they want you to, suddenly they CARE and they WON’T SHUT UP about it!”

To recap: It’s Hathaway’s fault. And it’s also America’s fault because we led him to believe we didn’t care, and then we did.

Letterman, speaking from experience, told Franco that over the next little while, he will continue to experience a “modicum of embarrassment,” after which he will experience a period of “numbness,” after which will come “defiance.”

But here’s the difference between Franco’s and Letterman’s hosting the Oscars: Letterman, in the wake of his widely panned 1995 hosting gig, did not go on talk shows to blame someone else. He instead cleverly used it as fodder for self-deprecating jokes. Returning to his talk show after the gig, for instance, he told his audience: “Looking back, I had no idea that thing was being televised.”

We like Letterman’s damage-control better.

By  |  11:15 PM ET, 03/31/2011

 
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