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.



11 comments:

Mick said...

Face/palm. I hate "A Chorus Line" with a purple passion... more like "A Collection of Losers". May we never incur this wrath again!

Tom said...

Ugh, that was awful.

JZ said...

I remember seeing this one and actually laughing out loud. One of the most unintentionally funny things I've ever seen; if it had been on Second City Television people would have thought it was a great sketch.

The other one I remember was in 1974 when a 'Streaker' very briefly popped across the stage (not long enough to see much). It later turned out that the people at the Academy who produced show actually had a hand in setting this up. The ratings had been way down for the past couple of years and they were trying to "spice" the program up...;)

Keir said...

I can't seem to find the video evidence for this fiasco anywhere....

Pam@GoRetro said...

The video's right there in the post. It takes a minute to load and buffer before it starts playing.

JZ - The Streaker incident is on YouTube. I didn't realize it was somewhat staged to get higher ratings.

Pam@GoRetro said...

I wrote about The Streaker Oscar incident a few years ago. I didn't uncover anything about the moment being staged, but the guy who did it was murdered a few years later: http://goretro.blogspot.com/2008/02/best-oscar-moment-ever-streaker.html

Therese said...

There were a few clunkers on last night's Oscars too, but nothing as bad as THIS was!

JZ said...

They definitely could have used a streaker this year...the show was about as exciting as watching paint dry.

Pam@GoRetro said...

I actually really enjoyed this year's Oscars...I thought William Shatner was hilarious and Seth MacFarland was pretty funny overall. It's not an easy gig and I don't think there's ever been a host who went over big with the critics. That said, the Bond tribute which had been hyped up was a huge letdown. Where were the former Bond actors and Bond girls? Just having a lame montage of clips set to music was...well, lame.

mordi said...

how wonderfully atrocious!

Anonymous said...

Wtf does Snow White have to do with the Oscars??

Link Within

Blog Widget by LinkWithin