Oscars host Billy Crystal failed to sparkle in a perfomance that was slick but oh-so-safe.
The 63-year-old actor and comedian, who was hosting the Academy Awards for the ninth time, gently ribbed the audience of Hollywood stars.
However, there was no risk of offence, a state-of-play that would have been unlikely if the original choice - Eddie Murphy - had not resigned.
The nearest he skated to the edge was a gentle mockery of Hollywood's wealthy elite comfortably seated in the Kodak Theatre.
"So tonight, enjoy yourselves, because nothing can take the sting out of the world's economic problems like watching millionaires present each other with golden statues," he joked.
There's was also a cheeky dig at Christopher Plummer who - at 82 - was the oldest actor to ever win an Academy Award.
"Christopher Plummer, ladies and gentlemen, may be walking up on stage tonight… because apparently he wanders off."
Crystal also managed a sly reference to the white dominance of the film industry after Octavia Spencer picked up her Oscar for The Help.
"When I saw (The Help) I wanted to hug the first black woman that I saw, which from Beverly Hills is about a 45 minute drive," he said.
It was up to Britain to provide what was probably the only controversial moment of the ceremony (we didn't do much else) thanks to Sacha Baron Cohen.
He ended speculation about whether he was going to appear at the Oscars in full regalia as his dictatorial General Shabazz Aladeen.
However, he soon blotted his copybook when he was escorted off the red carpet after emptying the "ashes" of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong II on American DJ Ryan Seacrest.
“It gave me the opportunity to bring my dear friend and double tennis partner Kim Jong Il,” Cohen said, before apparently tripping and dumping the urn’s contents over Seacrest’s tuxedo.
“If someone asks what you are wearing, tell them Kim Jong Il.”