How Long Was John Mulaney Holding Onto His ‘Field of Dreams’ Tight Five From Tonight’s Oscars?

Mulaney mouthed off on Kevin Costner and the confusing rules of ghost baseball in an unforgettable Academy Award presentation
How Long Was John Mulaney Holding Onto His ‘Field of Dreams’ Tight Five From Tonight’s Oscars?

If you book John Mulaney, bits will come.

The presentation of technical awards at the Oscars are often accompanied by a dip in energy and entertainment value on the part of the production. For that reason, Oscars organizers have made the controversial decision in past ceremonies to cut those awards presentations and speeches from the broadcast. As it turns out, the way to make Best Sound a memorable award is to fill the theater and our broadcasts with the frantic ramblings of the most opinionated presenter at the ceremony who will only loosely connect back to the category he’s there to celebrate.

Tarn Willers and Johnnie Burn took home the Academy Award for Best Sound tonight for their work on Zone of Interest, but the more interesting part of the presentation had nothing at all to do with the heavy subject matter of their film — in fact, it had nothing to do with any of the films nominated. Before Mulaney handed Willers and Burn their award, he spent his allotted time hilariously describing every pertinent plot point of the 1989 film Field of Dreams in a set that the comic must have had saved since he was seven years old.

“Without sound, we wouldn’t have been able to hear such classic lines as, ‘You’re gonna need a bigger boat,’ ‘I’ll have what she’s having’ and ‘He was in the Amazon with my mother when she was researching spiders just before she died,’” Mulaney began in the second well-earned slam dunk on Madame Web of the 96th Academy Awards.

“Or what about that moment in Field of Dreams, when we hear, ‘If you build it, he will come?’” Mulaney said as he segued into what he really came to the Dolby Theater to talk about. “And then Costner does it, he builds a baseball field. Or I guess he doesn’t build it, he mows down corn, and then there is a field, and then he’s like, ‘I’m gonna watch ghosts play baseball.’ And then the bank is like, ‘You wanna pay your mortgage?’ And he’s like, ‘Nah, I’m gonna watch ghosts play baseball.’”

Mulaney then proceeded to describe the story of Field of Dreams with the same energy that he famously dissects Law & Order, admitting that he thought James Earl Jones’ fictional book in the film was an actual novel “deep into my 20s” and criticizing the rule that Burt Lancaster’s character can’t return to the field of play after treating a choking child before concluding his rant with, “I love Field of Dreams. That should win Best Picture!”

So, until we hear otherwise, we’re going to continue believing that Mulaney’s been working on this bit since Field of Dreams wandered back into the cornfield following the 1990 Oscars empty-handed. Hey, John, you wanna have a catch?


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