The 10 Craziest Things That Ever Happened At The Oscars

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It’s the biggest event of the year in every film fan’s calendar, the exclamation point at the end of awards season that establishes once and for all the best films of the previous 12 months.

For some more casual film fans, however, the Academy Awards is entertaining for a different reason.

Tightly-controlled though the ceremony is, the Oscars is – like all live television – rarely without its share of gaffes.

Sometimes, these gaffes might be so huge that they turn a lightly funny if dry show into spectacular car crash television.

Here are 10 Oscars moments from history that showed the Academy Awards ceremony at its craziest.

10. A producer was included in the In Memoriam segment, despite still being alive

Anybody who’s ever watched the Oscars knows that invariably the most emotional moment of the night is the In Memoriam segment.

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The 2017 Oscars In Memoriam section proved emotional one for Jan Chapman for a very different reason, however.

As names and photos of the recently deceased flashed across the screen, Oscar-nominated producer Chapman saw her own image appear.

Though the montage was honouring costume designer Janet Patterson, it was the still-living Chapman’s picture that mistakenly accompanied Patterson’s name.

9. The South Park creators tripped on acid on the red carpet

Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park and its Oscar-nominated feature spin-off Bigger, Longer & Uncut, were never going to be the most reverent Oscars attendees.

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Parker, nominated for the Bigger, Longer & Uncut song Blame Canada, brought Stone along with him to the 2000 Oscars – and they dressed for the occasion.

Naturally, Parker and Stone came dressed as Jennifer Lopez and Gwyneth Paltrow, respectively.

It was an idea that probably seemed good at the time, especially considering Parker and Stone had dropped acid prior to arriving at the ceremony, something that’s perfectly evident in the video above.

8. John Travolta got Idina Menzel’s name horribly wrong

With Grease and Saturday Night Fever star John Travolta being such an old Hollywood pro, it made perfect sense to have him present a song at the 2014 Oscars.

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What nobody predicted was just how difficult the name ‘Idina Menzel’ – Oscar-nominated for Frozen’s Let It Go – would prove for the Pulp Fiction star.

Travolta, doing a fine job up to that point at just reading the damn words on the autocue, stumbled at the final hurdle and brought ‘Adele Dazeem’ onto the stage instead.

At the Oscars the following year, Menzel responded by introducing Travolta onto the stage as ‘Glom Gazingo’.

7. Sacha Baron Cohen threw ‘the ashes of Kim Jong-il’ all over Ryan Seacrest

Sacha Baron Cohen doesn’t do awards shows, though the characters he plays do show up from time to time.

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Having done the MTV Awards as Bruno and Borat, and the Golden Globes as Ali G, in 2012 it was Admiral General Aladeen’s turn at the Oscars.

Aladeen, the star of Baron Cohen’s 2012 comedy The Dictator, was greeted on the red carpet by Ryan Seacrest. Initially, all seemed to go according to plan.

Any plans Ryan Seacrest had went out the window, however, when ‘Aladeen’ accidentally spilled an urn containing the ashes of Kim Jong-il all over the bemused E! reporter.

6. A streaker interrupted David Niven’s monologue

The 1974 Oscars, a year in which The Sting and The Exorcist won big, were fairly uneventful.

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That is, except for one small thing that happened during David Niven’s monologue introducing Elizabeth Taylor.

As Niven sang Taylor’s praises, a naked man ran behind the actor across the stage: ‘professional streaker’ Robert Opel.

Barely phased, Niven quipped: “Fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings.”

5. Jennifer Lawrence fell on the way to collecting her award

Jennifer Lawrence is no stranger to an awkward Oscars moment – see the video below of her being hit on by a 75-year-old Jack Nicholson for evidence.

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Not even that tops what happened to Lawrence during the actual 2013 ceremony, however.

As she went to pick up her Oscar, for Best Actress for Silver Linings Playbook, Lawrence did what everyone dreads will happen to them in front of a live audience and promptly fell over.

Tripping over her dress, Lawrence was helped to the stage by presenter Jean Dujardin. She received a standing ovation, which she speculated was “just because you feel bad that I fell”.

4. Elinor Burkett did a Kanye

In 2010, the Oscars got a Kanye-interrupting-Taylor-Swift-style awkward moment all of its own.

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It all started so well: director Roger Ross Williams, nominated for Music by Prudence, was announced as the winner of the Best Documentary Short award.

As Williams was the first African-American to win an Oscar for any of the Short awards, his speech could have been a momentous one – if his co-producer Elinor Burkett hadn’t interrupted him.

Only a few seconds into his speech, Williams was cut off by Burkett, who proceeded to make a very different speech than the one Williams had planned.

3. Marlon Brando sent a Native American activist to collect his Oscar for him

From the beginning, Marlon Brando never had any intention of doing what was expected of him as a movie star.

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So it went in 1973, when Brando was nominated for and a shoo-in to win the Best Actor Oscar at that year’s awards ceremony.

What Brando was inevitably announced as the victor, it wasn’t the big man himself who showed up, but a Native American activist known as Sacheen Littlefeather.

Littlefeather took to the stage, declined to accept Brando’s Oscar – his second – and was met with a mixture of boos and applause.

2. Bjork laid an egg on the red carpet

Fashion fails are ten-a-penny on the Oscars red carpet, with at least one sartorial disaster to feast your eyes on each year.

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It’s perhaps offbeat Icelandic musician Bjork who takes the prize in that department, however.

In 2001, Bjork was nominated for Best Original Song, for Dancer in the Dark’s I’ve Seen It All.

For the occasion, Bjork appeared on the red carpet wearing a dress made to look like a swan. To cap the look off, the singer brought an ‘egg’ with her to drop on the carpet.

1. La La Land got announced as Best Picture by mistake

It’s the one that the Academy are still reeling from: the moment the unthinkable happened, and the wrong Best Picture was read out live on air.

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It was all the result of a mix-up – presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty being handed the wrong envelope, with ‘La La Land’ printed on the card instead of the real winner, Moonlight.

Cue La La Land’s cast and crew bounding onto the stage in apparent victory, and then chaos as Academy producers scrambled to inform the La La Land team of the mistake.

Beatty and the show’s host, Jimmy Kimmel, could only make awkward attempts at damage control as the La La Land team were exchanged with Moonlight’s.