Seacrest on ‘The Dictator’ Spill: E! Host Was Genuinely Surprised

Ryan Seacrest Red CarpetIt was almost impossible to miss the coverage and social media response to Sacha Baron Cohen’s red carpet appearance at the 84th Annual Academy Awards on Feb. 26. But after the 6’3” (and a half) British actor dumped “Kim Jong-il’s ashes” all over E! News host Ryan Seacrest as part of his Dictator schtick, the question of everyone’s minds was: “Did they plan that?” If you ask Seacrest, the answer is a resounding “No.”

Most of us were pretty aware that Cohen was a little more than miffed when the Academy originally denied him a seat at the Feb. 26 ceremony for fear that he would engage in embarrassing behavior. Not one to take an answer he dislikes, Cohen took to the Today Show to express his disgust, and was consequentially rewarded with a pair of Oscars tickets for his efforts. But he quickly burned whatever bridge he built to get them when he stopped to chat with Seacrest and spilled the mock ashes on the host. 
On his radio show, On Air With Ryan Seacrest, the TV and radio personality expressed his sheer surprise at the red carpet snafu: “I definitely did not know that he was going to do that!” said Seacrest, adding, “He comes over, and I asked him a couple of questions, but…You know that feeling in your gut. You feel like, ‘This is going too normally.'” To clarify, Seacrest wasn’t in on the gag, but he did have a bad feeling about the interview when Cohen approached. Though, religious American Idol viewers know how Seacrest’s fake surprise face and genuine surprise face differ: his red carpet surprise was the real deal. And as icing on the cake, it temporarily silenced the seasoned and impossibly chatty red carpet host; if that’s not a sign of sheer shock, we don’t know what is. 
Still, while Seacrest was obviously a bit miffed about the mixture — which he assumes is Bisquick or some similar substance — his mother’s advice saved him from the embarrassment he could have endured the rest of the night. Seacrest tweeted, “My mom always told me to pack two jackets for red carpets, always wondered why. Now I know.”
And for those shrewd television viewers still skeptical about Seacrest’s claims, just take a look at this video he shot right after the event went down in front of the former Kodak Theater: