In nearly 92 years, the only certainty with the Oscars is unpredictability – thankfully. What would we have to discuss around the water cooler (or on Zoom) the next day if the big Hollywood night didn’t have a streaker or stoner host every now and then? Here, an incomplete yet totally fun timeline of Oscar’s memorable moments.
Frank Sinatra hosts the Oscars from the Santa Monica Civic Center, but barely makes it into the building on time. He forgets his parking sticker, is refused parking by security and must park his own car in the street.
Sammy Davis Jr. announces Oscar for best score as Tom Jones. Too bad the music of Tom jones was not even nominated. Davis had received the wrong envelope.
An agonizing strike by the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) threatens to derail Oscar television broadcasting, but it is settled with a few hours to spare. Bob Hope, presenter of 16 Times Sardonic, launches at the start of the show: “I’m not ready for another crisis.”
Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn are tied for Best Actress. Hepburn doesn’t attend, but Babs does – in a bell-bottomed ensemble, no less.
“Let it Be” by the Beatles from their So be it the documentary wins for Original Score. Oscar conductor Quincy Jones jumps out of the music pit to accept them.
»Marlon Brando refuses to accept his Oscar for best actor for The Godfather, sending actress Apache Sacheen Littlefeather on stage to protest Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans.
Katharine Hepburn wears gardening clothes and clogs to present the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to friend producer Lawrence Weingarten. A wardrobe consultant asked Hepburn’s partner, “When is she going to dress?” The famous answer: “She is dressed!”
A streaker walks through David Niven’s intro to Elizabeth Taylor’s Oscar presentation for Best Picture. Niven’s throwaway line saves the night: “Isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh a man will ever have in his life is to strip down and show off his flaws?”
»Woody Allen wins his first Oscars – Best Director and Best Screenplay 1978, Annie hall–and begins her Oscar no-show streak by staying in New York City to play her Monday night clarinet concert.
Cher sort of finds new parts of herself to lay bare, wearing a jewelry-encrusted belly dancer ensemble by Bob Mackie to receive an award for her performance in Dreamer.
Rob Lowe awkwardly sings and dances to a skipped version of “Proud Mary” with live action from Snow White. The number was produced by super-showman Allan Carr, once known for Fat on Broadway, now best known for this debacle.
Seventy-three-year-old Jack Palance delighted with winning Best Supporting Actor in City slickers, falls to the stage floor and shows off his manic ability to do one-armed push-ups.
»When the Italian director Roberto Benigni Life is Beautiful wins the award for best foreign film, he jumps out of his seat, climbs onto the backs of other people’s seats and jumps onto the stage like the Energizer bunny.
Angelina Jolie wins Best Supporting Actress for Girl interrupted and in his acceptance speech proclaims “I’m so in love with my brother right now!” Later that night, she and her brother James Haven publicly lock their lips at the Vanity Fair Oscar party.
Oscar-nominated Bjork wears a giant swan dress by Macedonian designer Marjan Pejoski and turns the red carpet into performance art by pretending to lay an egg on it.
Adrian Brody, surprise winner for Best Actor (The pianist) rushes onto the stage, grabs host Halle Berry, folds her back and kisses her wildly on the lips. His competitors in the category, Jack Nicholson and Nicolas Cage, encourage him. “I was like ‘What the fuck!’” Berry later told Andy Cohen about the moment.
Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston are all in attendance. Aniston, who brought in lothario singer John Mayer as his (quite awkward) date, presents an award in the scene view of his ex and femme fatale, who were filmed trying to act naturally. Their performances eclipse those of the real winners of the evening.
Jennifer Lawrence stumbles over her Dior dress as she takes the stage to receive the Best Actress award for Silver Linings Playbook, starting an ongoing debate over whether his awkwardness is cute or artificial.
Oscar host Seth MacFarlane kicks things off with an original opening number called “We Saw Your Boobs,” offending A-listers while making several B-listers feel more included in the proceedings.
John Travolta mistakenly pronounces Broadway belter Idina Menzel’s name as “Adele Dazeem.” Frozen-Love four year olds all over the world swear never to give up.
“Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty receive the wrong envelope for Best Picture and erroneously announce La La Land, do not Moonlight. Working for PricewaterhouseCoopers has never seemed so dangerous.
James Corden and Rebel Wilson take the stage in mega-flop costumes Cats to present the Oscar for best visual effects, explaining their cosplay with: “As members of the cast of the film Cats, no one understands the need for good visual effects more than we do. “
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