16th Feb2018

Culture Dump #25: 4 Awkward Things That Happen at Awards Ceremonies

by Simon Bland

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Awards season. That unapologetically back-slappy period where society’s richest and most privileged come together to reward each other with golden statues. While us ‘normies’ (that’s probably what they call us, right?) don’t get to partake in the fun, that doesn’t mean we come away empty handed. Our gift is getting to see first hand the stream of painfully awkward situations these live ceremonies often birth. Moments like…

People Getting Played Off

​Let’s start with the basics. Watching stars fumble through their acceptance speeches is often a hotbed for awkward award show moments. Not least of all when they start to get played off halfway through their ‘Thank You’’s, ‘I Love You’s’ and ‘Oh God, this is so unexpected’’s. Some throw caution to the wind, refusing to have their moment in the sun cut short. Others meanwhile start to get flustered and decide to power through, increasing their rate of speech to T&C-levels of super-speed and coming across like malfunctioning robots. Family Guy funnyman Seth MacFarlane certainly saw the comedy in this when he hosted the Oscars back in 2013. And you thought swimming with sharks was tense.

Cut Aways To Miserable Stars

Being an awards show host is a thankless job. Try too hard and you get criticized for pushing things Ricky Gervais-levels of too far. Don’t try enough and you get labelled boring, no better than a garden variety James Franco and Anne Hathaway double-act. However regardless of the host, there’s one thing you can rely on: a bit of crowd interaction. This can go either way but it’s always funnier (for us, at least) when the person being discussed totally does not find the host’s comments remotely humorous. At. ALL. Craggy-faced misery guts Tommy Lee Jones is a fine example of this. In his own infamous words to Jim Carrey whilst shooting the (Razzie) award winning Batman Forever, he just cannot condone this kind of buffoonery.

Veteran Stars Doing Absolutely Anything

​What’s that? Some veteran star is being honoured for their services to cinema? Oh, and they’re going to accept the award ON STAGE, you say? Like, on live telly? Where absolutely anything can and probably will happen? Well then, that surely won’t be eye-scratchingly painfully viewing for everyone in the world, ever. Almost any time any veteran actor returns to the stage (Bar badass Christopher Lee, that is) to accept an honorary award the preceding spectacle is near-unwatchable. They’re chaperoned out confused, wide-eyed and often running on some sort of 5-minute internal delay, all while a sweaty-palmed hosts stands cautiously nearby to re-steer the car if they see it veering perilously towards the non-PC trees. Please, for the sake of your lasting legacy, stay at home.

Rubbish Red Carpet Filler

The grit-teeth awkwardness of award shows isn’t confined to the ceremony stage. Red carpet correspondents (a sort of B-Movie version of a main host, usually Alex Zayne-shaped) stalk the perimeter of the show, ready to pounce on unsuspecting celebs trying to get into the venue. With a camera and microphone thrusted in their face, the interviewee is then quizzed about all manner of boring stuff from clothes, predictions and whatever the hot-topic of the moment happens to be. However the real fun of this awards shows patter is its pure unpredictability. There’s something devilishly moreish about the combination of live telly and pure on-the-spot confusion that can result in some truly weird moments. Like when Paris Hilton’s mate Kimberly Stewart accidentally shot off down the red carpet on the chopper she was inexplicably riding or that time Nick Nolte forgot how to speak at 2012’s Oscars. This pre-show stroll is the gift that keeps on giving.

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments section below!

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