Ellen DeGeneres takes a selfie with attendees during the 86th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Los Angeles. Photo by Robert Gauthier of Los Angeles Times. Photo courtesy of MCT Campus.
With Ellen DeGeneres leading the way as the host of the 86th Academy Awards, there was bound to be some noteworthy moments. Lots of laughs came out of the show, which was not surprising given it was led by someone who has built a reputation consisting of dancing her way through her talk show she landed after years of stand-up comedy. Check out some of the most memorable Oscar moments from the past decade and a half below.
The 86th Academy Awards (2014) Hosted by Ellen DeGeneres
This year’s awards started out with a short bit about those in attendance before leading into the Best Actor in a Supporting Role category. Jared Leto was awarded the Oscar for his role as a HIV positive transgender in “Dallas Buyers Club,” and in turn gave a heart wrenchingly beautiful speech about his mother, brother and 30 Seconds to Mars bandmate, victims of AIDS and those currently fighting for their dreams in Ukraine and Venezuela. Leto later joined the ultimate group selfie tweeted by DeGeneres, which was retweeted by over 3.2 million people within two days. In a mere 40 minutes, it became the most retweeted tweet. It knocked down the previous record holder, President Barack Obama, who received nearly 800,000 retweets for a post about the start of his second term. DeGeneres nearly beat her stint by making a random comment about people looking hungry before ordering pizza from a local shop. Big Mama's and Papa's Pizzeria co-owner Edgar Martirosyan found his way on to the Dolby Theater stage with pies in hand to deliver them to the room full of evening gown and tux-donned stars. The shock paid off (literally) as he walked away with a $1,000 tip.
The 85th Academy Awards (2013) Hosted by Seth MacFarlane
Saying MacFarlene’s hosting job was painful was a bit of an understatement, but it also depended on who you asked. He was both controversial and a bit childish, but can that honestly surprise anyone considering he is the guy who brought us “Ted” and “Family Guy?” Another more than likely painful incident was Jennifer Lawrence’s topple on her way up the stage to snag her award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for “Silver Linings Playbook.” The incident lives on and is one of many catalysts that gave her the quirky, girl-next-door reputation.
The 84th Academy Awards (2012) Hosted by Billy Crystal
The show started by Miss Piggy and Kermit introducing Cirque du Soleil; tuxedo-wearing acrobats might seem to be the beginning of a more than memorable night, but the 84th Academy Awards fell a little short with several try-too-hard moments. This was Billy Crystal’s ninth hosting effort after Eddie Murphy dropped the mic, and it could be argued that was the cause for the sloppiness of the show. Outside of that, the winners of the Best Actor and Actress in a Supporting Role stole the show with a genuine, tear-filled speech by “The Help’s” Octavia Spencer and the oldest Oscar winner to date, Christopher Plummer. Then again, Angelina Jolie’s right leg was quite the showstopper as well.
The 83rd Academy Awards (2011) Hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway
Anne Hathaway spoke to the Oscars’ attendees like that annoying aunt trying to get a rise out of a newborn while James Franco looked like he either couldn’t care less or was gearing up for a “Pineapple Express” sequel. Their awkward team up made the whole show just that: awkward.
The 82nd Academy Awards (2010) Hosted by Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin
Neil Patrick Harris opened up the 2010 ceremony with the Best Actor and Actress nominees, an event that confused even him seeing as he was not one of the two hosts. Despite that, he holds the praise of one of the best openers to date with his show tune calling on pop culture for material until Martin and Baldwin enter in a very Whoopi Goldberg circa 2002 fashion.
The 79th Academy Awards (2007) Hosted by Ellen DeGeneres
There are two types of reactions to losing in the race for an Oscar: the overzealous “I’m so proud of you” clap-smile combo and the “I can’t believe I didn’t win” wide-eyed stare, sort of smile, clap. Then there’s Eddie Murphy (“Dreamgirls”) who lost to Alan Arkin (“Little Miss Sunshine”) for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and reacted by storming out in the middle of the show.
The 74th Academy Awards (2002) Hosted by Whoopi Goldberg
After Whoopi Goldberg’s “Moulin Rouge!”-inspired trapeze entrance, all the preceding host’s walk-on-stage beginnings were just plain boring. Despite that, many believe her hosting fell flat based on her previous three performances.
The 72nd Academy Awards (2000) Hosted by Billy Crystal
Angelina Jolie wasn’t always the picture perfect companion to Brad Pitt, and did things like sucking face with her brother instead of stuffing it with pizza at the Oscars. Following her win for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for “Girl Interrupted,” Jolie gushed about her love for her brother, which set incest rumors a fly.