The Funniest Oscar Acceptance Speeches Ever
Despite what we say to everybody who gets all dressed up and sits through three-and-a-half hours of pointless shtick only to go home empty-handed, the Academy Awards are all about the winners — and specifically, the winners’ speeches. Some Oscar winners use their platform to yak on and on, thanking their agents and God — who, as we all know, lets natural disasters and global tragedies slide but can’t help but put his thumb on the cosmic scale when it comes to the Oscar results.
But occasionally, recipients of Hollywood’s greatest honor that doesn’t involve dating Pete Davidson are able to inject some humor into their acceptance speeches, like…
A reigned-in Williams won for Good Will Hunting in 1998, delivering a touching speech that also contained some killer lines — e.g,. “Thank you, Ben and Matt, I still want to see some ID.” Just fast-forward past the part where he shouts out Harvey Weinstein.
The charming Gordon won for Rosemary’s Baby in 1969 at the age of 72 and got a huge laugh by opening her speech with, “I can’t tell you how encouraging a thing like this is.”
Also in 1969, the legendary Brooks won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for The Producers, thanking the “Academy of Arts, Sciences and Money” before quipping, “I’ll just say what’s in my heart: ba-bump, ba-bump, ba-bump.”
This is the most inadvertently funny Oscar speech in history. In 1983, the winner of the Best Animated Short, Polish filmmaker Zbigniew Rybczynski, refused to leave the stage when he was played off, awkwardly tried to kiss presenter Kristy McNichol and kept interrupting his own translator. When he went outside for a cigarette, Rybczynski couldn’t get back in the building and got in a fight with a security guard — the cops were called, and he was arrested after allegedly kicking one of them in the balls, shouting, “American pig, I have Oscar.”
Scrapped from the main telecast, likely in favor of a montage of old movie clips set to John Williams and Smash Mouth, the honorary Oscar is handed out at a separate event in advance. In 2013, viewers were spared having to suffer through a hilarious and touching speech by Martin, who began by stating, “It has been a longtime dream of mine that I would one day receive an Honorary Oscar, and tonight I feel I am one step closer to that dream.”
He also worked in some playful digs at longtime friends like Tom Hanks (“I saw Captain Phillips, I didn’t think it was so funny”) and Martin Short (“You should have seen Marty Short’s face fall when I told him the gift basket was taxable”).
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