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This image released by Ellen DeGeneres shows actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyong’o Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong’o and Angelina Jolie as they pose for a "selfie" portrait on a cell phone during the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday, March 2, 2014, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Ellen DeGeneres)
Oscars 2014: How did Twitter-happy Ellen DeGeneres fare?
First Published Mar 03 2014 12:38 pm • Last Updated Mar 03 2014 02:41 pm

Ellen DeGeneres was clearly in her comfort zone as Oscar host Sunday night, delivering her brand of good-natured humor, kibitzing with the audience and even going out of her way to crash Twitter.

Making her return to Hollywood’s big bash for the first time since 2007, DeGeneres deftly walked the line between edgy and gentle while guiding viewers through a classy and free-spirited, if rather bloated, Oscars telecast. (Catch all the best moments here.)

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Not everything worked, of course, but overall, it was a winning stint. (And mercifully, there were no songs about women’s breasts). Here’s a look at some of her top moments and bits:

The selfie seen around the world • During one of her many forays into the audience, Ellen went to great lengths to get a group portrait on her cellphone that, included, among others, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey and Brad Pitt.

Within minutes, the photo, taken by Bradley Cooper, made its way onto Twitter and racked up more than half a million retweets and 300,000 favorites.

"We crashed and broke Twitter," Ellen boasted after learning that the social media service had, at one point, bogged down. "We’re all winners tonight, that’s what it means."

As for her tweet, she lamented the fact that more stars couldn’t be squeezed into the photo. "If only Bradley’s arm was longer," she wrote. "Best photo ever."

In a lean and crisp monologue, Ellen took a poke at the shallowness of Hollywood when she noted that, "The most important thing in life is love and friendship and family. If people don’t have those things, well then, they usually get into show business." And then this: "Between all of the nominees here tonight, you made over 1,400 films and you’ve gone to a total of six years of college."

The closest Ellen came to snarky territory was when she pointed out Liza Minnelli in the audience and said she’s the best Liza impersonator she’d ever seen. "Good job, sir." (She has a way of getting away with things that a more acerbic comedian couldn’t.)

Our host also had a lot of fun with Jennifer Lawrence, first pointing out that the Oscars are like "The Hunger Games.": "There’s cameras everywhere, you’re all starving, and Jennifer Lawrence won last year."

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Then she called out Lawrence for falling on her way to the stage last year, and again tonight outside the theater.

"If you win tonight, I think we should bring you the Oscar."

She playfully noted that the night would be defined by two possibilities. "Possibility No. 1: ’12 Years a Slave’ wins best picture. Possibility No. 2: You’re all racists."

When she wasn’t taking selfies or dressing up as The Good Witch from "The Wizard of Oz," or buying pizza for famished celebrities, Ellen was bemoaning the fact that there’s only one winner in each category.

She tried to atone and by presenting Cooper with a "consolation prize" of scratcher lotto tickets and a quarter. They agreed to split the winnings if he struck it rich.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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