It’s all about the pageantry. Strike that; it’s all about the tradition. No, it’s the red carpet. The honor. The prestige.
Sunday night marked the 83rd annual Academy Awards. The Oscars.
The awards that are handed out by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are more than simply statuettes on the mantels of Hollywood’s elite; they are virtual guarantees that upon winning one the actor or actress will undoubtedly continue to star in one of the many unoriginal, pathetic, filthy, foul-mouthed films that the industry continues to churn out. Sure, there are the few diamonds in the rough, but by and large every movie that has been made in the last 20 years is essentially Sex And The City.
But I digress. This is supposed to be about Oscar!
As I mentioned back before my rant, this is the 83rd year of the Academy Awards, and for the 44th consecutive year I failed to tune in and watch. No Oscar pick pool or viewing party for me. Bah Humbug. Sorry.
But that is certainly not going to hold me back from celebrating my Favorite Oscar Moments in History.
If only I had made some special statuettes for the occasion, rolled out the red carpet and invited Joan Rivers to hang out with me, followed by a Barbara Walters special! Hey, I said I never watched the show – I still know what used to take place before and after…
So, without further ado…
Oscar Moment #1: Oscar Möller Scores His First NHL Goal. The Los Angeles Kings’ draft pick from 2007 (52nd overall) netted his first NHL goal on October 20th of 2008, sneaking one past Colorado’s Peter Budaj in a 4-3 loss to the Avalanche. The baby-faced 22-year-old is currently playing a regular shift for the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate in Manchester, New Hampshire, and hopes to crack the big club’s everyday lineup in 2011-12 (assuming he isn’t dealt to another club before Monday’s trade deadline).
Oscar Moment #2: Oscar Madison – The Model. If you grew up in and appreciated the 1970s you likely stumbled upon a few episodes of the classic comedy The Odd Couple based on the play by Neil Simon. In my favorite episode from the first season, the ad agency Felix works for is looking for the right model to be the face of the “Mandar” line of products, and who better to represent these manly products than scruffy, grumpy, sloppy Oscar Madison? Well Oscar somehow becomes a self-obsessed spoiled child – very much in character as a model – and he hilariously bungles and bumbles through the photo shoots as he tries to continually coax Felix into “shooting his best side.” Needless to say, Felix has a bad case of the hives by the end of the episode. Great stuff!
Oscar Moment #3: Oscar Montemayor Doesn’t Like My Idea. I worked with Oscar at Vans Shoes back in the 1980s and he was a very nice fellow, but my lasting memory of my time with Oscar was when he was about to get some personalized license plates for his new car. We spent a good chunk of an evening at the store throwing around ideas and I really thought that of all of them, my idea of OS CAR was the most original. He didn’t think so, and to make certain that I knew the idea was either unoriginal or simply unworthy of his beautiful car, he made sure to tell anyone who phoned in about my lame idea and I seem to remember him even mentioning it to a few customers. A tad passive aggressive, but then so is blogging about it 26 years later. I still liked my idea, but I need to let it go.
Oscar Moment #4: Driving Alongside the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile. How can you not smile upon seeing a 27-foot-long hot dog driving next to you? It’s happened to me on a number of occasions, most recently in November when we were stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way to Disneyland. It was cool because the kids got to see it and also because it was essentially next to us for at least half an hour, so we had plenty of time to gawk. I did some quick checking and discovered that there are actually seven Weinermobiles Drivers are referred to as Hotdoggers.
Oscar Moment #5: Oscar Charleston Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame – 1976. An amazing player and manager in the Negro Leagues from 1915 to 1945, Charleston patrolled center field with grace and precision and at the plate possessed power and a keen batting eye. Award-winning writer Joe Posnanski sums it up best when he talks about former Negro Leaguer Buck O’Neil’s steadfast devotion to preserving the memory of Charleston: “I heard him talk about Oscar Charleston dozens of times. He always said that while Willie Mays was the greatest major league player he ever saw, Charleston was simply the greatest player he ever saw. He said that Charleston could hit you 50 home runs, steal you 50 bases, run down every fly ball hit, and he had a bit of a mean streak, too. He was going to beat you every way you could be beaten.”
So there you have them – my favorite “Oscar Moments.”
I’m quite certain I lost most of you when I trashed Sex And The City earlier, and I’m sorry about that. I don’t hate the awards or the award shows. And I enjoy good movies. I even saw a few this year, including Inception, True Grit, The Social Network and Toy Story 3 – all movies nominated in the best film category.
All good movies. Just not great.
At least not Oscar Charleston great. Not even Oscar Madison great.