One of the few surprises came before the ceremony began, when Sacha Baron Cohen approached the E! host Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet,” writes N.Y. Times “Tv Watch” critic Alessandra Stanley. “The comedian was in character from his new movie, The Dictator, and carried an urn filled with what he described as the ashes of Kim Jong-il, the deceased leader of North Korea.

“The comedian spilled the ashes all over a shocked Mr. Seacrest, saying, as he was hustled off by security guards, ‘When someone asks you what you are wearing, you will say Kim Jong-il.’ Mr. Seacrest was not amused.”

At the Artist after-party I was told by a Paramount publicist that there was definitely blowback from Seacrest after-the fact.