02/27/2011 By Shawn Burns

On the same night the Oscars are co-hosted by James Franco, a Best Actor nominee for his role as Aaron Ralston in 127 Hours, NBC scores a coup:

On Minute to Win It: The real Aaron Ralston!

I’m bored and the kids are asleep and there are no more Oscars to be snarky about, so I’m watching Aaron Ralston trying to hang nails on a string.

Things are not going well. But, come on, perspective needs be remembered, methinks. This is not at all like that time he had to cut off his own arm. I don’t think this is bothering him that much.

James Franco is going to finish his Ph.D. before I do, and he started after I did, and…


…Aaron Ralston just failed at the Hang Nail game. So he did the equivalent of “phoning a friend” or whatever the hell you do on this show, and who does he call? James Franco, apparently, live on the Red Carpet.

Sorry, now I just really want to see Aaron Ralston hang these goddamned nails on this string. I’ll be back in a second. Or sixty. Haha. That was funny.

Aaron Ralston is like a weird photo-negative of Spider-Man. Where the lesson of Spider-Man was always supposed to be “With great power, comes great responsibility,” in Aaron Ralston’s case he seems to feel that “With great challenge, comes great responsibility.” All he wants to do now that he’s faced his own death and literally given his right arm to see his family again, is inspire and give. He embodies great responsibility.

I didn’t mean the “photo-negative of Spider-Man” line to imply that Aaron Ralston is bad at climbing. That would be in bad taste. But he sure as hell is bad at hanging nails. I bet Spider-Man would be done with this one already.

Do you believe in miracles? I don’t think I do. But Aaron Ralston has a second chance to hang these nails on a piece of string, and it’s hard not to see all kinds of metaphors for miracles in that. It means more that he gets a second chance at this game than that I knew the Konami Code to get thirty lives in Contra.

He just nailed it. Pardon the pun, but what else would you call it? He’s moving on now.

To the next round he goes.

Good for him.