Oscars 2013 May Have Felt Long, But It’s No Record-Breaker

Seth MacFarlane hosted Oscars is longer than previous two shows, but much shorter than the four-plus hour versions of previous years

It's curtains on the 85th annual Academy Awards, but despite a run time that clocked in at three hours and 35 minutes, this edition of the Oscars was a relatively brief affair.

Getty ImagesTrue, it was longer than the previous two shows, but it was a far cry from the late 1990s and early aughts when the program occasionally topped four hours of entertainment and acceptance speeches.

For now, the 74th Academy Awards in 2002 will retain its crown as the longest show in Oscar history. Credits on that program, which was hosted by Whoopi Goldberg and saw "A Beautiful Mind" capture Best Picture, finally stopped rolling after four hours and 23 minutes.

Two other Oscar telecasts ran over four hours — the 1999 show with Goldberg hosting ran four hours and two minutes and the 2000 version came in at four hours and four minutes with Billy Crystal as emcee.

The most recent program with Seth MacFarlane as ringmaster and a cavalcade of musical acts from the likes of Shirley Bassey and Barbra Streisand isn't even the longest Oscars in the past five years. That honor goes to the 2010 broadcast with Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin co-hosting over a three hour and 37 minute show.

The relatively brief running time (at least historically speaking) didn't stop MacFarlane from cracking wise about the languorous pacing of the show. At one point, he quipped that the broadcast was going to keep running until the 2014 Oscars and at another he joked that that 86-year-old Best Actress nominee Emmanuelle Riva ("Amour") was 9 when the show started.

Just imagine how old she'd have been by the time the 2002 show wrapped up.