The glitz, the glamour, the glory, oh my!
The Academy Awards are one of the most distinguished honors an actor can be apart of, being nominated alone is reverent in itself. While all of Hollywood’s most esteemed writers, actors, directors, etc all gather for a night of celebration to see who will snag that quintessential golden statuette for their technical and artistic merits. The award show is live and often times veers way off-script. The “biggest party of the year,” is hardly that as viewers sit through hours of monotonous speeches, but from time-to-time things get real interesting. Don’t let the Armani suits and Vera gowns fool you because at the end of the day, these folks are also mere mortals.
With host Jimmy Kimmel serving as the Master of Ceremony for the 90th Annual Academy Awards, we hope another announcement mix up doesn’t happen again. No one needs another envelope scandal, but the unexpected can and should be expected. Take a look at some of the most memorable, talked about, or downright hilarious moments that took place at Oscars past as chosen by VH1 staffers.
Homage Finally Paid to Leonardo DiCaprio During the 88th Academy Awards
Andrea Wurzburger: “When Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his Oscar was simultaneously the best and worst moment for me because even though I was happy that he finally won (and could stop doing things like eating raw bison meat for roles) I was also heartbroken that I could no longer say that I had the same amount of Oscars as Leonardo DiCaprio.”
John Travolta’s Mispronunciation at the 2014 Oscars
Haley Sprankle: ” ’… please welcome the WICKEDLY talented… the one and only… ADELE DAZEEM.’
There he was, in all his theatrical glory – John Travolta at the Oscars. Getting ready to introduce Idina Menzel’s performance of “Let It Go” from the critically-acclaimed Frozen, he squinted out to the audience and shared his love for a good movie-musical, seemingly paying homage to his own projects past. Then came the big moment. With a pun alluding to Idina’s Tony-winning performance in the Broadway hit Wicked and a ton of that John Travolta vocal inflection we all love, he presented… ADELE DAZEEM. Incredible.”
Chris Rock’s Monologue from the 88th Academy Awards in 2016
Elizabeth Black: “Sometimes we wonder how Chris Rock gets away with saying what he says without being blackballed in Hollywood, but it’s probably because he speaks the truth. Tapped to host the 2016 Academy Awards during the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, Rock stepped up to the plate with jokes about the pervasive racism in Hollywood, a hilarious response to Jada Pinkett Smith boycotting the show (’Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!’) and jokes about underused black talent in Hollywood (’Jamie Foxx was so good in Ray that they went to the hospital and unplugged the real Ray Charles. Like, we don’t need two of these!’) It was pointed, political, and hilarious.”
Taraji Turns Back Into Shug at the 2016 Oscars
Heather Ricks: “Three 6 Mafia rapping their Academy Award nominated song “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” on the 2006 Oscars telecast, making history that night as the first hip hop artists to perform at the ceremony. Taraji P. Henson even came out to sing the chorus, just like she did in the film Hustle & Flow. The song went on to win the Oscar that night, but it’s the performance that gets me boppin’ in my seat. Taraji belting as Broadway style pimps and hos dance on the Academy’s stage is my aesthetic.”
Jack Nicholson Shoots his Shot
Andrea Wurzburger: “Ah, Jack Nicholson, Hollywood’s creepy old grandpa. When he interrupted Jennifer Lawrence’s interview after her Best Actress win at the 2013 Oscars and (sort of) hit on her I just about died. Nicholson coming up behind her with sunglasses on and saying, ’I’ll be waiting…’ cracks me up every time.”
Who Invited Stacey Dash?
Jasmine Grant: “For reasons I have yet to understand, Stacey Dash was invited to the 2016 Oscars for a comedy skit pegged to diversity. We’re talking about same Stacey Dash who, shortly beforehand, called the #OscarsSoWhite boycott ’ludicrous.’ We’re talking about the same Stacey Dash who said we should get rid of Black History Month and BET. Still, the idea seemed like a good one to whomever is in charge of making the show funny. It was not. Host Chris Rock introduced the former Fox pundit and Congressional nominee (still not able to say that with a straight face) as the Academy’s new director of “minority outreach program” during his opening monologue. The joke fell flatter than day old pancakes, as evidenced by this now viral photo of Chrissy Teigen’s stank face. Those who were lucky enough to not know who Stacey Dash is just chuckled uncomfortably. ‘Twas a mess.”
Jenny Takes a Tumble
Sarah Michel: “Now, although the Oscars isn’t really my thing because it is about three hours too long, this particular moment grabbed my attention because, people falling is just funny. While Jennifer Lawrence was making her ascension to accept her Best Actress Award for her role in Silver Linings Playbook , her dress had other plans. Nothing to be embarrassed about, it happens. During her acceptance speech when she was finally able to get her life thanks to Hugh Jackman, Jennifer joked, ’You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell.’ As commendable as it was to see her make light of the fall, she told no lie.”
Bad Ass Amy Madigan Sitting Down For What’s Right
Damian Bellino: “My favorite Oscar moment is a little offbeat, but it is 100% the moment that legendary (and controversial) director Elia Kazan received an Honorary Oscar. The director of films like On the Waterfront and A Streetcar Named Desire was a divisive figure because of his McCarthy Era testimony where he named names. (It’s juicy, look it up!) But my favorite moment from his acceptance speech, is the standing ovation—you see people politely clapping but not standing like Stephen Spielberg—and then you see Ed Harris and Amy Madigan legit just sitting. Amy’s refusal to stand paired with arms crossed is not only badass, but downright hilarious to me. Serving political fish but also deadpan hilarity, mawma.”
Jamie Foxx Gave Us All the Emotions
Rondell Conway: “By the time the award for “Best Actor” is handed out it’s usually the point of the show my deep regret for watching the Oscars has set in. However, things were different at the 77th Academy Awards in 2005. The Black excellence in attendance had the night feeling like the Blacscars. Jay-Z and Beyoncé were in the building. Bey was pretty much booked for a mini concert, performing three songs, that included a number that made The Phantom of the Opera relevant for one night only in my life. Halle Berry, Prince, Chris Rock, Samuel L. Jackson, Oprah, and Diddy were also among the Black icons in the building, but none had a more impactful moment on the night than Jamie Foxx. The honor of “Best Actor” went to Jamie for his stellar performance in the amazing bio pic Ray and his acceptance speech was everything from hilarious to tear-jerking.”
Ellen DeGeneres and Friends Save the Show
Rondell Conway: “On a night when I tuned in to the 86th Academy Awards to pretty much root for everyone Black that starred in the epically sad 12 Years a Slave, I was spared suffering through a night off agonizing boredom by the great white ally Ellen DeGeneres. As hands down the best host the Academy has ever hired, Ellen broke up the show’s usual monotony by taking a group selfie with Hollywood’s biggest names, Meryl Streep, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Jared Leto, Kevin Spacey, Lupita Nyong’o. Shout out to Lupita’s brother for not missing his opportunity to be a part of a historic social moment that garnered over 3 million retweets. Of course this moment triggered a gang of celebrity copycat group selfies, a downside we had to endure throughout 2014. Despite that, I still love Ellen for giving us this memory.”