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How the Grammys and the Oscars are different

Workers carry rolls of red carpet on Hollywood Boulevard on February 22, 2012 ahead of the 84th annual Academy Awards, in Hollywood, Calif.

Adriene Hill: L.A. is gearing up for the Oscars this weekend, and there's a bit of a controversy brewing. The Academy is reportedly asking Sacha Baron Cohen not to walk the red carpet dressed as the dictator from his upcoming movie.

We thought the news called for a lesson in red carpet decorum, so we called up composer Marc Shaiman, who's walked down a lot of red carpets himself. Good morning.

Marc Shaiman: Hi, good morning.

Hill: You've walked down a lot of red carpets. How are the Oscars and Grammys different?

Shaiman: Well, I mean, obviously the Grammys are much more youth-oriented, so there's much more anarchy; people are trying to be outrageous, and that's kind of what you expect. And the Oscars are just the opposite. I mean, with Sacha Baron Cohen being banned --

Hill: Or nearly banned --

Shaiman: You know, they take it very seriously. And I think that's cool. I mean, they don't want it to seem less than what it is. For the people who win the Oscars, or who are nominated, it's a great honor. And I guess they feel to play around too much kind of lessens that. Whereas the Grammy awards, you're almost disappointed if people don't show up wearing meat for dress.

Hill: Now let me ask you one other question -- do you have any advice for all those aspiring red carpet walkers in this town? If they get their chance, any advice for them?

Shaiman: I say, go for it. It is a chance to be noticed, that's for sure. And you know, it can be a once in a lifetime experience -- if you're lucky, maybe twice in a lifetime or three times. But you know, certainly have fun.

Hill: Composer Marc Shaiman, thanks so much.

Shaiman: Thank you.

About the author

Adriene Hill is the senior multimedia reporter for LearningCurve.

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