9 Academy Awards Moments That Were Really Awkward


Hollywood sure does know how to reinforce the HollyWEIRD vibe sometimes...

1. Uma. Oprah. Oprah. Uma.

Although he has had some competition in recent years, David Letterman is considered to be the worst Oscar host in recent years. His 1995 gig featured all his usual schtick from his late-night TV show, including a Top 10 Lists. His night got off to a bad start when he made fun of the names of Oprah Winfrey and Uma Thurman. 

"Oprah. Uma. Oprah. Uma. Oprah. Uma. Have you kids met Keanu?" Few laughed.  The New York Times accused Letterman of leaving the show's "pacing in shambles," and added that "glamorous people waiting for awards announcements aren't terribly interested in New York City cabdrivers or stupid-pet tricks."

2. Roberto Benigni Walks on Chairs

Without a doubt, Roberto Benigni was the most exuberant Oscar-winner ever -- and he did it twice during the 1999 Oscars, when he won Best Foreign Language Film and Best Actor for "Life Is Beautiful." In the clip below, he walks over rows of seats, seemingly endangering fellow celebrities' lives, after winning the foreign language award.

3. Adele Denzeem?

John Travolta's massive mangling of Idina Menzel's name in the 2014 telecast made instant Oscar lore -- creating an Internet game, what would be your John Travolta name?

4. Glom Gazingo?

In 2015, Travolta got a chance to get it right -- and Idina Menzel a chance for revenge -- when they presented an award together. But even this became an uncomfortable moment, when Travolta went too PDA.

5. Jack Palance Wins Oscar, Does Push-Ups

The veteran actor was 73 when he won Best Supporting Actor for "City Slickers" in 1992, and took the opportunity to savage Hollywood for its lack of roles for older actors. To prove his point -- and to the surprise of presenter Whoopi Goldberg -- he suddenly mid-speech dropped and started doing push-ups! Hey, the old man had it: Palance would live nearly 15 more years after that night.

7. Three 6 Mafia Wins an Oscar

Everyone was stunned in 2006 when Three 6 Mafia became the first hip hop group to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song ("It's Hard out Here for a Pimp," from the film "Hustle & Flow") and the first hip hop artists to perform at the actual Oscars ceremony. Their acceptance speech was even more stunning!

8. Brando Sends Native American Woman to Reject His Oscar

In one of the most famous Oscar moments, Marlon Brando won the award for Best Actor for "The Godfather," but sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Native American woman who, like Brando, was involved in the causes of Native American rights, to decline the award. Looking back on this clip from 1973, it's amazing how Littlefeather is, despite a smattering of boos, is able to deliver her speech in full, with acceptance from the audience and presenters Roger Moore and Liv Ullman. Actually, kind of a nice moment.

9. The Streaker

Hands down, our favorite moment. Streaking was all the rage in the 1970s -- we're not sure why -- but even the Academy Awards was not immune. In 1974, a man later revealed to be Robert Opel, a photographer and art gallery owner who snuck in disguised as a journalist, ran naked behind David Niven, who was introducing Elizabeth Taylor. What's awesome was the ever-cool Niven's smooth recovery: "Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was almost bound to happen. ... But isn't it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?"




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