Thursday, February 21, 2013
The Night Oscar Hung His Head in Shame
Oscar night is full of weird and bad moments, but what you're about to watch is probably the worst opening number of any Academy Awards ceremony ever. We have the late composer Marvin Hamlisch and Allan Carr (the producer of Grease) to blame for this mess which kicked off the 1989 Academy Awards. How bad was it? So bad that several stars including Paul Newman, Gregory Peck and Julie Andrews signed an open letter the next day calling the awards show “an embarrassment to both the Academy and the entire motion picture industry.” It also pissed off Disney for the unauthorized use of Snow White's image.
And boy, did this act do her image no favors. Snow warbles with a high-pitched, irritating voice, and seems to be bothering Tom Hanks, Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver and others in the audience as she makes her way to the stage. There are dancing "stars" (literally), a recreation of the Coconut Grove (with Merv Griffin singing "Ive Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts"--get it?) and Hollywood icons such as Vincent Price and Roy Rogers thrown into the middle of this clusterfuck. Then Rob Lowe joins Snow on-stage as her blind date to butcher "Proud Mary" set to alternate lyrics (it's the Lowe and Snow Show - ha!) You can see why this angered a lot of people. And it goes on for 10 minutes, culminating into A Chorus Line line-up. It doesn't get more over the top than that. Thank goodness some retro trends are best left in the past.