TODAY   |  August 05, 2013

Ellen DeGeneres will return as host of Oscars

TODAY’s Willie Geist and Natalie Morales chat about the topics making headlines, including the announcement that talk show host Ellen Degeneres will host next year’s Academy Awards ceremony.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> monday morning, august 5th , 2013 . nice crowd outside.

>> do you know why they're so happy and so thrilled? because willie geist is back.

>> back in business along with natalie morales . al is off today. we were just doing some carbon dating to go back how far we have been apart.

>> it really was.

>> july 12th .

>> you have that marked in your calendar somewhere.

>> yeah.

>> you went to london.

>> yeah. gone for two weeks. al was gone before that for about two weeks. so i think it's been overall about five or six weeks that the three of us have not been together.

>> the three of us will be back together tomorrow. we're going to stage an 80s sitcom reunion.

>> you almost missed making it in this morning.

>> yeah, that's a true story .

>> what happened. i do another show called morning joe across the street. that starts at 6:00 in the morning. i have been doing that show for 7 years. this morning the volume was all the way down on the ringer and at 5:45 my wife said willie and i was like it's fine. we're still on vacation. so i missed the first segment of morning joe this morning.

>> thank you christina.

>> there's a lot going on in the news right now. this is the front page of the new york papers. alex rodriguez being asked just go.

>> from the fans wanting him out.

>> the back page of the daily news, you're a disgrace. suit up. talking about alex rodriguez and pretty soon we're going to hear about a suspension for alex rodriguez . he's one of baseball's biggest stars over alleged doping and obstructing baseball's investigation into it. sources believe the suspension will not be just for this year but through 2014 . she 38 years old.

>> two hip surgeries.

>> coming off of a lot of injuries. the commissioner is expected to allow him to play through the appeals process. that could be 30 games or the rest of the season.

>> which could be the rest of his career.

>> he remained defiant though. he had a press conference. playing minor league baseball , had a press conference on saturday. here's a little bit of what he o to say.

>> i plan to sit my girls down and we're going to have a lengthy conversation and i'll have an opportunity to tell it all at some point. i'll have that platform and when the time is right i'll tell my full story. thanks.

>> that's a tough conversation to have with your kids.

>> it is. he could get a shorter penalty. but the bottom line is alex rodriguez was the biggest star in baseball. before we knew about all the cheating and the alleged doping, he was going to be babe ruth . he was putting up numbers like baseball had never seen before and now it's just a fall.

>> half a billion dollar contract. that's unheard of.

>> signed 10 year, 200 $52 million about t -- $252 million ten years ago. on the role model thing, he gave that up a long time ago. he was a guy to look up to and great talent and great baseball player.

>> but as an asterisk by his name now.

>> everything he does.

>>> meanwhile, the oscars making news. ellen is going to be the host.

>> this is great.

>> she'll host the 86th academy awards . she confirmed in a tweet, it's official i'm hosting the oscars . i'd like to thank the academy and my wife portia.

>> second time she had the gig. she did it in 2007 . let's go back to our history here, the departed won best picture .

>> look at you.

>> that's because it was right up there in front of me.

>> somebody did the research for me. last year we had seth macfarland. it's a tough gig. that's the hardest job in the world.

>> billy crystal is the master at it.

>> but ellen is universally loved. she has 21 million twitter followers which puts her in the league with lady gaga and justin bieber. she is a huge star with broad appeal.

>> that's the key, i think, for the oscars is that perhaps less controversial than a golden globes hosting. they tend to be more of the old school, old hollywood.

>> you didn't hear much criticism of this choice. it's a good pick. meanwhile --

>> this is the story everybody is talking about.

>> did you see this clip? kids week on jeopardy last week. one moment from wednesday's episode very controversial. this is an 8th grader. he is saying now that he was cheated by jeopardy and in particular by trebec.

>> take a look.

>> abraham lincoln called this document which took effect in 1863 a fit and necessary war measure. let's go to thomas hurly now. he had 9,600. he wrote down what is the emancipation -- well, because he misspelled it badly, you put a p in there, proclamation, that's unfortunate. the judges are ruling against you.

>> alex sort of misspelled that. he said you put a p in there. you would have a p in there. the extra t is what he meant.

>> he didn't misspell that badly and that was him putting the screws to an 8th grader. it was not misspelled badly.

>> he got the answer correct.

>> he got the answer right.

>> he knew what he was doing.

>> jeopardy producers put out a statement about this saying if jeopardy were to give credit for an incorrect response however minor the show would effectively penalize other players.

>> i go for the intent of the rule here. the kid had it right.

>> he's a 12-year-old.

>> he's 12.

>> 8th grade .

>> even on the adult version, sorry.

>> somebody was telling him in his ear, though.

>> yeah.

>> and they have gotten -- we tried to look up exactly what they have gone with in the past. i remember watching jeopardy and seeing some spelling errors and not even being able to make out the words that people wrote and they seem to have let things pass in the past go forward but in this case they have been cracking down more and more.

>> it's a pattern of abuse.

>> it's a good thing you'll never get an invitation on jeopardy.

>> so kocondescending.

>> the kid walked away with $2,000 and he went to california and down the road he could always go back if they let him back.

>> and got taken down by trebec, it's ugly.

>> he did okay.

>> would you ever run with the bulls?

>> it's interesting because having lived in spain, our town used to have a running of the bulls , like where we lived. which is of course the one that earnest hemingway made famous in the sun also rises . it's become a big deal . americans go there the past year. we saw a lot of americans there again. a couple got injured but now they're talking about bringing that here. there's actually a couple of different cities going to do their own running of the bulls .

>> that's right. we got a couple. august 24th , i love this, at a drag racing strip, south of richmond , virginia. which is slightly less romantic, the drag racing strip in richmond . others in california, minnesota, illinois, and pennsylvania.

>> let's do it as a show. come on.

>> there's certain things like if you go bungie jumping and sky diving there's a element of safety and predictability on that. i don't need to role the dice.

>> they're going to make it safer than the one in spain where it's cobblestone streets and you're fenced in with nowhere to go and the bulls are coming right at you. here they plan to allow areas where people can duck and hide.

>> can bailout.

>> duck and run.

>> that's a death trap right there.

>> it's crazy. the appeal is going there and doing it.

>> exactly.

>> 5,000 people signed up for the one in richmond . so there's definitely a lot of interest and nowadays, think, we are so into all of these -- you loved climbing that wall.

>> my favorite.

>> there we go.

>> any excuse to show video again.

>> it was an elaborate set up for something.

>> how many times does it take for willie to get up the wall. we'll keep talking .

>> i think it was 6.

>> where's the help right there.

>> i tried. you weigh 200 and what pounds?

>> 200 and change. eventually i made it to the top. we didn't show my triumph at the end.

>> so you would run with the bulls, then?

>> no, we'll send you, our roving reporter, natalie morales .

>> i would do it. i think i'm on vacation then.

>> oh.

>> don't get to the drag strip race.

>> we'll do it another time. how about that?

>>> some people talking about this photograph of jennifer anniston . make up free anniston.

>> she's gorgeous.

>> is that make up free? that looks good to me. that's her long time hair stylist. he captioned this pick, best friends , no make up, girl time. she looks fantastic.

>> she looks great. any time you see a celebrity with no make up -- lady gaga had one and that one, melb. was not a fan of that photo.

>> mel b. has strong opinions.

>> she does. but i think people are curious to see what they look like and she looks amazing. no surprise there.

>> there was one a couple of weeks ago of jessica alba .

>> wow, surprise.