After Seth MacFarlane’s mockery last year, this year will presumably be a yawn-inducing return to form. Assuming Ellen Degeneres doesn’t have some kind of meltdown on stage and ditch her dance moves to send the censors into hysteria with a 10 minute joke riff on 12 Years A Slave, we can probably look to the acceptance speeches for being the most awkward part of the show.
The Oscars have a long history of cringe-worthy acceptance speeches, it’s just something that happens to some actors when they wrap their hands around that gold statue — they become blubbering dolts.
And the award for the most cringe-worthy Oscar moment goes to…
1. Angelina Jolie loves her brother, she really loves him — 1999
When Jolie opened with “I’m so in love with my brother right now” most of the audience was probably thinking “aw, that’s sweet.” As the speech ended though with Jolie gushing even more about her brother you can almost sense the audience and James Coburn thinking, “Damn, what the f*ck was Jon Voight doing with that family?!”
2. James Cameron “Suck it, Hollywood” — 1998
As huge as Titanic was it wasn’t exempt from backlash, due in part to Jame’s Cameron’s acceptance speech. The speech is fine up until the final 10 seconds when Cameron can’t hold it in any longer and screams, “I’m the king of the world!” followed by “woo-ing” that nobody wanted to hear. It all came off as the verbal equivalent of Cameron whipping out his d*ck and proclaiming “right here, Hollywood!”
3. Jack Palance does one-armed pushups — 1992
At some point in Jack Palance’s acceptance speech for City Slickers the thought must have occurred to him “check this out, pussies, one-armed pushups!” It was an impressive feat for a man of Palance’s age, but you just know the producers were hoping he didn’t keel over from a heart attack right there on stage.
4. Sally Field proclaims how much Hollywood really likes her — 1984
Sally Field gave one of the most memorable Oscar acceptance speeches in history, mostly because it came off as a hysterical obsession with herself. As soon as Field blathered “you like me, right now you really like me!” one of those long hooks from the Looney Tunes cartoons should have yanked her off the stage.
5. Nicolas Cage does Nicolas Cage — 1995
I wouldn’t be surprised if Anthony Hopkins and Sean Penn rigged the votes just so they could see Nic Cage get up there and do what he does best, be Nic Cage. Cage looked like he was about to flip out and lose his sh*t after thanking Elizabeth Shue, but managed to hold it together without ripping his shirt off.
6. Marlon Brando is now a Native American woman — 1973
It’s not that Brando choosing to use this platform as a way to bring attention to the movie industry’s treatment of Native Americans was a poor choice, it was rather noble cause that needed to be addressed. What makes it so cringe-worthy are the boos thrown at this woman after mentioning the issue. Goddamn, Hollywood, march her off to the reservation why don’t you! I think we can all agree that Warner Brothers survived just fine without dressing white guys up in feathers and face paint.
7. Michael Moore gets political, no really, he does — 2003
C’mon now, did you really think this list would be absent of Michael Moore? I’m not even sure Michael Moore was aware he won an award up there, I think his brain just flashed to “soapbox, GO!” It wasn’t that what Moore was saying was fictitious, just ill-timed. Moore’s speech stands as the reason “wrap it up” music was invented.
8. Snow White and Rob Lowe’s 10-minute musical disaster — 1989
OK, so not an acceptance speech, but probably the most cringe-inducing of all. Watching the Academy trot this musical turd out must have been an incredible thing to witness live. The 10-minute plus performance followed Snow White prancing around the Shrine Auditorium, dancing with a bunch of stars that looked like they were leftover from a middle-school musical and then singing an altered version of “Proud Mary” with Rob Lowe (who was coming off a sex scandal). I’d be willing to bet half the audience was hoping for a bomb threat two minutes into the performance.
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