When that envelope is torn open and the world holds its collective breath, some big Hollywood star will be reduced to a babbling idiot — and millions of people just love it.
Every year there's at least one new Oscar Bozo. Two weeks ago The Wolf Files wheeled out some old favorite bloopers and asked readers for some new ones.
We immediately discounted the Sally Field 1984 Oscar moment, when the newly crowned Best Actress gushed, "I can't deny the fact you like me. Right now, you like me!" That's too easy.
We also discounted past Oscar host David Letterman's tedious "Uma-Oprah" jokes.
But we investigated all promising suggestions, and herewith present this new batch of Oscar goofs and gaffes. Beneath it lies the best of last year's batch, as determined by some 250 e-mails.
The Readers' Picks
The King of Fools Award: To James Cameron. The Titanic director copped Leonardo DiCaprio's big line from the film, unabashedly shouting "I'm king of the world!" as he waved his trophy. In a halfhearted attempted to pay some tribute to the real Titanic tragedy, he then asked the audience for a moment of silence "in remembrance of the 1,500 men, women and children who died when the great ship went down." Then, he reverted to hyperventilating hysteria and yelled "Now let's party till dawn!"
The Fairy Tale Disaster Award: To Rob Lowe. In perhaps the most embarrassing Oscar opening, the 1988 organizers scripted a song and dance routine between Snow White and Lowe, who was introduced as her "blind date." Disney was so distressed that it sued.
The Windbag Award To Greer Garson. According to Oscar legend, she spent 90 rambling minutes at the podium after winning Best Actress in 1942 for Mrs. Miniver. But cooler heads say it was closer to seven minutes. Predictably, she began her speech by saying, "I'm practically unprepared."
The Brevity Is the Soul of Wit Award: To Alfred Hitchcock. After winning the Irving Thalberg Memorial Award in 1967 in recognition of his illustrious career, he muttered "Thank you," and walked offstage.
The Silent Oscar Award: To Hal Roach, who received a special honor in 1991 for bringing Laurel & Hardy and many other classics to the big screen. Billy Crystal introduced him, and the audience gave him a booming ovation. But when everyone sat down, Roach, a centenarian, began speaking, without a mike. The audience and TV viewers just stared for several moments, unable to hear him. Crystal quipped, "I think that's fitting since Mr. Roach started in silent film." It was Roach's last public appearance. He died six months later.
The Give This Guy Viagra Award: To Roberto Benigni, the 1998 double Oscar winner (Best Actor, Best Foreign Film) for Life Is Beautiful. In broken English he proclaimed, "My body is in tumult … I would like to be … lying down and making love to everybody." He later added, "I am-a so happy, I want to wag-a my tail!"
Hey, Are You Guys Against Me? Award: To 1964 presenter Sammy Davis Jr., who was handed an envelope for the wrong award. Representatives from Oscar's counting unit at Price Waterhouse had to rush onstage to stop him from blurting out a mistake. He quipped, "Wait'll the NAACP hears about this."