A former head writer for the Oscars shares what it's really like to write jokes for the most prestigious awards show

bruce vilanch

Getty/Larry Busacca

Comedy writer Bruce Vilanch was head writer for the Oscars from 2000 to 2014.

When you hear the word "Oscars," big stars, stunning gowns, emotional acceptance speeches, and the red carpet probably come to mind.

But much of what happens behind the curtain - the elements we don't see, like the writing - makes the award show the prestigious and memorable event it is each year.

Comedy writer and six-time Emmy award-winner Bruce Vilanch, 67, has written jokes for the Oscars since 1989 and served as head writer for the show from 2000 to 2014.
In the book, "Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today's Top Comedy Writers," he talks about this huge responsibility.

"Out of the hundreds [of jokes] that we write - really, hundreds - if one or two are used, it's a big deal," he told the books author Mike Sacks.

To learn more about the writing process for the Academy Awards, keep scrolling.