Ellen DeGeneres returned for the first time in 7 years to host the Academy Awards Sunday night, and all I can say is you gotta love "The Ellen".


Ellen hosting the 86th annual Academy Awards

Ellen brought a sort of "Blue Collar" comedy to what is always a very upscale stuffy awards show. Yes the monologue had it's moments, especially when the fun comes at the expense of some of the VIP's (like Jennifer Lawrence).

However for a few minutes in the monologue, it looked like DeGeneres might take a different, sharper tone: she and her writers worked up a set of zingers just this side of mean, and maybe on the other side of it, as when she cited Liza Minnelli as “One of the best Liza Minnelli impersonators that I have seen in my entire life… Good job, sir!”

But what really makes you love Ellen is the way she tends to create moments.  At one point mid-ceremony, she crowded together an "A" list of celebs near the stage — Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Bradley Cooper, and many more — for a group selfie, with the goal of creating the most-re-tweeted photo ever on Twitter. It worked; the pic blasted through Barack Obama‘s record, collecting millions of re-tweets in a few hours.

A view of the now infamous selfie from behind the stars. (getty images)

Plus what other host would order pizza, and have it delivered right to the show. The bit had the side benefit of letting the Stars Be Just Like Us, chowing down on slices. Brilliant move to make everyone watching feel as if we're just hanging at a small get together watching some friends share a pizza.

Ellen serves up the pizza to stars like Brad Pitt

Year after year, the Oscars attempt bringing a world audience together to see blessings showered on the already blessed and to feel good about it. I for one was wildly entertained by DeGeneres. So if they (the Oscar folks) managed to get a crowd at home chuckling at the site of take-out being ordered for a theater of people already going home with platinum goodie bags, they accomplished something. Ellen DeGeneres did not show up at the Oscars to deliver blistering comedy. But at least she did deliver pizza.