04/10/1995 at 01:00 AM EDT
SOMETIMES LIFE IS LIKE A BOX OF Milk Duds: You know exactly what you're going to get. Such was the case at the Academy Awards Gumpathon. But the 3-hour build-up to the coronation of Tom Hanks and Forrest Gump was so dreary. Blame a sluggish pace, the cavernous stage at the Shrine Auditorium, even the host, for a telecast that never connected. Though David Letterman tossed off some amusing zingers, his attempt to graft his Late Show format onto the Academy Awards ceremony didn't take. The Oscar show? Limper than last week's shrimp, Bubba.