I’ve always wondered why people anticipate the upcoming award shows and bother sitting through them. Whether it’s the Oscars, Grammy’s, Emmy’s or MTV Awards they all seem to be the same to me – extremely long. Maybe I’m missing out on something, I never really understood the excitement of it all. All of the televised award ceremonies just seem so boring to me, ( I figure if I’m going to devote three or more hours of my time to watching something, it most likely will be an epic movie like Star Wars or The Lord of the Rings). Perhaps it’s the glitz and glamour, the fashion, the red carpet pre-show, seeing the hottest A-list celebrities gathered under the same roof, or maybe just maybe it’s the endearing speeches which quite often turn out to be hilarious and awkward.
Over the decades there have been numerous award ceremonies full of emotion, comedy and outright bizarre speeches – all ones that have entertained us in some form or another. Different in their own individual ways, whether you enjoy the memorable ones that are touching, classy, cheesy or just plain awkward, some of these speeches could have won an additional award just for their outrageousness alone.
If you’re a fan of award ceremonies, the 87th Academy Awards is just around the corner and is scheduled to take place on February 22nd. This year’s edition will be hosted by actor Neil Patrick Harris, and judging by previous years at the Academy Awards, there are sure to be some entertaining speeches to occur.
Here is our top 10 list of the most awkward award speeches ever!
10. Jack Palance – 1992 Academy Awards
During the 64th Academy Awards ceremony Jack Palance was presented with the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in City Slickers. The then 73-year-old decided that this was the ideal opportunity to show off his psychical strength. He began his speech which started off in the usual way, gracefully accepting the award, with a joke here and there, but in the middle of his speech he dropped to the floor and started a series of one-armed push-ups. Billy Crystal was the host of the awards that night and Palance’s push-up stunt gave the host plenty of jokes for the rest of the telecast.
9. Jacqueline Bisset – 2014 Golden Globes
Jacqueline Bisset was the winner of the 2014 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Television Mini-Series for her role in the British series Dancing on the Edge. It was her 5th nomination, and it was pretty evident that like most of the people in the audience, she was surprised that she won. It seemed as though she didn’t prepare much of a speech before the show, which led to a somewhat scattered and frustrating improvised speech. When speaking to the press later in the evening and asked about her speech, she said, “I was completely out of it, I was thinking about my dinner, and I still haven’t gotten my dinner yet.”
8. Kathy Griffin – 2007 Emmy Awards
On 16 September 2007, Kathy Griffin won the Emmy for Outstanding Reality Program for My Life on the D-List. Griffin, never shy to voice her opinion, struck up quite a bit of attention and controversy with her acceptance speech that night, especially among the Christian community. When she took the stage and retrieved her Emmy she said:
“Can you believe this shit? I guess hell froze over … a lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. So, all I can say is, ‘suck it, Jesus.’ This award is my God now.”
7. Oliver Stone – 1979 Golden Globes
During the 1979 edition of the Golden Globes, Oliver Stone accepted the award for Best Screenplay for his film Midnight Express. Instead of expressing his gratitude for the award, filled with the usual thank you’s that accompany most acceptance speeches, he decided to take the opportunity to conduct a rant about the U.S. Government drug policy. Stone refused to put down the microphone until a few security guards came up to the podium to retrieve the microphone and ask him to leave the stage.
6. Greg Garcia – 2006 Emmy Awards
Executive producer and creator Greg Garcia accepted the Emmy for Best Comedy Writing in 2006 for his Television show My Name Is Earl, leaving the audience members in hysterics during his speech. Garcia decided to take a less traditional route with his acceptance speech; instead of going through a long list of people to thank, he compiled a list of a few people he in fact did not want to thank. Some of the lucky people on Greg Garcia’s list included an eighth-grade social studies teacher who told him to sit down and shut up because he wasn’t funny, a former boss who gave him less than desirable tasks to complete and God for making him go bald.
5. Johnny Depp – 2014 Hollywood Film Awards
The crew behind the Hollywood Film Awards may be regretting the decision to televise the ceremony this year after Johnny Depp‘s bizarre speech. The actor was all over headlines for slurring and swearing his way through his presentation of the Documentary Award for Mike Myers’ Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. While the audience was silent and most likely wondering what he was even saying, I have to give it to Johnny for staying true to himself and just not caring what anyone thinks of him. It’s unclear if he was drunk, or high, or maybe he’s just that good of an actor. Either way, even though he was cut off on stage, he looked like he was having a blast!
4. Michael Moore – 2003 Academy Awards
Filmmaker and liberal political activist Michael Moore made huge waves for his works which criticize things like gun policies, globalization and large corporations. So it shouldn’t have been that much of a shock when he took to the stage for his acceptance speech for Best Documentary at the 75th Academy Awards for Bowling For Columbine. But what he said upon winning the award did in fact surprise quite a few people in the audience. Moore began by graciously inviting all of this fellow nominees up on stage with him and thirty seconds into his acceptance speech, he began voicing his opinion on the results of the 2000 presidential election, as well as the conflicts of the Iraq War, leaving members of the audience either booing or cheering until his speech was over.
3. Julia Louis-Dreyfus – 2012 and 2013 Emmy Awards
Not once but twice Julia Louis-Dreyfus won Lead Actress in a Comedy for her character on Veep at the Emmy’s (in 2012 and 2013), and both award speeches ended up being hilariously awkward. During her acceptance speech in 2012 she went up on stage only to realize she was reading the wrong speech (she and Amy Poehler switched speeches earlier in the day). In her 2013 acceptance speech, her co-star Tony Hale had just won Best Supporting Actor, and came up on stage (in character), standing behind her, smiling in support of her (as his character often does on Veep). As she shared her speech, thanking everybody on her list, she hilariously failed to mention him (poor Tony Hale).
2. Marlon Brando – 1973 Academy Awards
Marlon Brando won Best Actor for his role in The Godfather at the 45th Academy Awards but he opted out of appearing at the ceremony and collecting his award. Instead he chose to send Sacheen Littlefeather, a Native American civil rights activist, in his place, to refuse the award. It wasn’t so much the idea of Brando using the Academy Awards as a platform to bring awareness to the movie industry’s treatment of Native Americans that was so awkward, it was actually quite a noble act, but it was the fact that so many people in the audience were booing this poor woman. Littlefeather was only able to read 45 seconds worth of Brando’s 15 page rant on stage but later behind the scenes read the entire letter to the press.
1. Angelina Jolie – 2000 Academy Awards
Anglina Jolie takes the prize for giving the most awkward speech ever! While accepting her Oscar at the 72nd Academy Awards for her supporting role in Girl Interrupted, she opened with “I’m so in love with my brother right now” and most of us at first were probably thinking, “oh, that’s so nice,” but as the speech continued so did her undying affection as she relentlessly gushed over her brother James, and the awkwardness didn’t stop there. Later on in the evening Angelina raised more curious attention when she and her brother shared a very opened-mouthed kiss. It may not be your average close brother and sister relationship, but I guess it works for Angie and Jamie.