Ryan Seacrest has had an urn full of ashes spilled on him at the red carpet of this year's Academy Awards, but it turned out he was not Sacha Baron Cohen's original target. During his morning radio show on Monday, May 7, the E! News host revealed that the leading man of "The Dictator" initially planned to prank Oscar nominee George Clooney.
Recalling his recent meeting with Cohen at the backstage of "Saturday Night Live", the 37-year-old first told the listeners that the comedian's wife, Isla Fisher, apologized on his behalf. "I saw Isla Fisher and I said hi, and she said these words, and then it dawned on me. She said, 'I apologize for my husband.' And I said, 'Oh, yes, yes, gotcha, thank you, thank you very much for saying that.' "
"I didn't realize that 'The Dictator' was doing a walk on cameo [on 'SNL']! He comes off stage and comes over to me," the TV host continued on. "He breaks character and says, 'Sorry about the Oscars. It wasn't personal." He was very, very apologetic and genuine. He was still wearing 'The Dictator' stuff so it was strangely ironic, but then he started to tell me how it all went down!"
The "American Idol" host then dished, "Originally they were going to spill whatever was in that urn on George Clooney! [Cohen] said, 'We were going to do it on George Clooney, and then someone decided that it wasn't a great idea because he was up for a lot of nominations. It was big night for him that night.' Then they somehow spun 'The Wheel of Tragedy' and it ended on my name."
Seacrest fell victim to Cohen's red carpet prank back in February when he interviewed the comedian's character Admiral General Shabazz Aladeen at the 84th Annual Academy Awards. At the time, Cohen acted as if he was tripped and dumped the content of the urn in his hand all over the radio personality's tuxedo.
Shortly after the incident took place, E!'s Chief News Correspondent Ken Baker took to Twitter to share, "OMG. @RyanSeacrest was just ashed by The Dictator! We are all dying over here...totally UNSCRIPTED. Trust me." Seacrest himself tweeted, "My mom always told me to pack two jackets for red carpets, always wondered why. Now I know."