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Top 10 Awkward Award Show Moments

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake
These events couldn’t have been more uncomfortable had Derek Zoolander showed up. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Awkward Award Show Moments. For this list, we’re taking a look at cringe-worthy, strange, and infamous moments from televised award shows.
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These events couldn’t have been more uncomfortable had Derek Zoolander showed up. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Awkward Award Show Moments.

For this list, we’re taking a look at cringe-worthy, strange, and infamous moments from televised award shows.

#10: Morgan Freeman’s Acceptance Speech
“24th Screen Actors Guild Awards” (2018)


Morgan Freeman more than earned his Life Achievement Award at the 2018 SAG Awards. However, his acceptance speech was easily among the goofiest moments of his career – and remember… this man once played a vampire on “The Electric Company.” Speaking of which, Freeman’s old co-star, Rita Moreno, presented him with this award. Along the way, she shared several hilarious anecdotes and told Freeman to lift up his baseball cap. Matters took a particularly mystifying turn when Freeman randomly called out somebody in the audience, who was later confirmed to be Lily Tomlin. As odd as this detour was, Freeman closed out his speech with some timely commentary, calling the statue “gender specific.”

#9: Jacqueline Bisset’s Acceptance Speech
“71st Golden Globe Awards” (2014)


It’s not uncommon for people to become emotional during award shows, but Jacqueline Bisset had an especially hard time collecting herself when she won a Golden Globe for her supporting performance in “Dancing on the Edge.” After a lengthy walk to the stage, the English actress struggled to find the right words before finally unleashing a meandering speech. It wasn’t long until the music started to play her off, but that didn’t stop Bisset from thanking several others and dropping a couple curse words. Bisset made several more rambling remarks backstage, asking somebody to clean her glasses. While undeniably awkward, we can’t blame Bisset for feeling so overwhelmed, as she really wasn’t expecting to win.

#8: Michael Jackson’s Birthday Award
“19th MTV Video Music Awards” (2002)

To commemorate Michael Jackson’s 44th birthday, Britney Spears presented him with a special statue at the 2002 VMAs. There was some confusion as to why Jackson was receiving this honor, however. The misunderstanding stemmed from a comment the Princess of Pop made regarding the King of Pop, calling him “the artist of the millennium.” So when Jackson took to the stage, he assumed he was accepting “The Artist of the Millennium” award, which doesn’t even exist. While nobody corrected Jackson during his humble speech, host Jimmy Fallon poked fun at the incident shortly after. Jack Black also parodied the moment one year later, accepting the “Super Genius of the Universe” award.

#7: Madonna’s Wardrobe Malfunction
“35th BRIT Awards” (2015)

Madonna is no stranger to awkward award show moments, notoriously smooching Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera at the 2003 VMAs. She’s also made plenty of headlines with her bold fashion choices. At the 2015 Brit Awards, though, Madonna learned the hard way that capes almost always backfire. When her dancers attempted to yank off the cape as planned, Madonna realized that it was tied too tight. The Queen of Pop was thus sent flying down the stairs, much to everyone’s shock. Nevertheless, Madonna managed to pull herself together and complete the performance. In a way, it’s fitting that she was singing “Living For Love,” as the song is all about lifting one’s self back up.

#6: James Franco Silences Tommy Wiseau
“75th Golden Globe Awards” (2018)

Tommy Wiseau supposedly kept “The Room” running for two extra weeks to qualify for Academy Award consideration. Needless to say, his cult classic received no love from the Oscars. About a decade and a half later, though, Wiseau got to attend the Golden Globes when “The Disaster Artist” picked up multiple nominations. After James Franco won the award for his portrayal of Wiseau, he kindly invited him to come up onstage. As Wiseau tried grabbing the microphone, Franco playfully pushed him aside. Franco probably wanted to avoid an awkward moment, but silencing Wiseau was ironically awkward in itself. Had he gotten to speak, Wiseau claims that he would’ve encouraged people to love each other.

#5: Ronnie Wood Throws His Drink at Brandon Block
“20th BRIT Awards” (2000)

At the 2000 Brit Awards, actress Thora Birch and Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones presented the prize for Best Soundtrack Album. Before they could announce that the winner was “Notting Hill,” an intoxicated Brandon Block suddenly ambushed them. Although the DJ wasn’t up for any awards, his friends reportedly told him that he had won “Best Musician of the Year.” As Block screamed his name into the mic, security attempted to escort him off the stage. When Block came charging back, Wood threw his drink in his face and the two exchanged insults. Block was subsequently thrown out of the ceremony, leaving the bewildered audience wondering what the hell had just happened.

#4: Adele Dazeem
“86th Academy Awards” (2014)

If you’re a Broadway fan, you know Idina Menzel for her work in musicals like “Rent” and “Wicked.” For mainstream audiences, it was Menzel’s voiceover performance as Elsa in “Frozen” that made her a household name. John Travolta still couldn’t get her name right at the 2014 Academy Awards, however. Before Menzel performed the Oscar-winning “Let It Go,” Travolta introduced her as “the wickedly talented, one and only, Adele Dazeem.” This flub was so bad it actually inspired an “Adele Dazeem Name Generator,” allowing people to “Travoltify” their names. Making light of the mistake, Menzel playfully turned the tables the following year, announcing Travolta as “Glom Gazingo.”

#3: Jennifer Lopez’s Golden Globes
“72nd Golden Globe Awards” (2015)

You’re bound to find plenty of cleavage at virtually any award show; the key is to not point it out. But “Golden Globes” is a rather suggestive name… so when Jennifer Lopez sported a revealing dress at the 2015 ceremony, Jeremy Renner couldn’t resist connecting the dots. Presenting an award together, Lopez mentioned that she had the nails to open the envelope, to which Renner added that she had the “globes” as well. Igniting laughter and shock, the comment arguably overshadowed Billy Bob Thornton’s win. During his speech, Thornton mentioned that you can get into a lot of trouble “no matter what you say” - it’s a reminder Renner probably wishes he’d heard sooner.

#2: I’mma Let You Finish
“26th MTV Video Music Awards” (2009)

After Taylor Swift won the VMA for Best Female Video, Kanye West jumped onstage and snatched the microphone out of her hands, declaring that Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time. West was booed off stage while Swift cried her eyes out backstage, forcing Beyoncé to do some damage control. The moment immediately sparked countless parodies, memes, and discussions. In response to West’s behavior, US President Barack Obama called him a “jackass” while future President Donald Trump called for a Kanye boycott. At least that’s one thing Obama and Trump could agree on. Meanwhile, West also nearly repeated himself at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards when Beck won Album of the Year.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Judy Finnigan’s Bra
“7th National Television Awards” (2001)

- Ricky Gervais Mocks “The Tourist”
“68th Golden Globe Awards” (2011)

- Cate Blanchett Strokes Her SAG
“20th Screen Actors Guild Awards” (2014)

#1: Wrong Best Picture Winner Announced
“89th Academy Awards” (2017)

Something was clearly amiss at the 2017 Oscars when Warren Beatty hesitated to announce the Best Picture winner. If you turned off your television after Faye Dunaway declared “La La Land” victorious, you missed a landmark moment in live television. After a few minutes onstage, the “La La Land” producers announced that there was a mix-up and “Moonlight” had actually won. Host Jimmy Kimmel jokingly blamed Steve Harvey, but it was apparently PwC accountant Brian Cullinan who handed Beatty the wrong envelope. While the crews from “La La Land” and “Moonlight” both acted graciously, the fiasco rocked Hollywood like never before. What makes this moment even more surreal is that “BoJack Horseman” totally saw it coming.
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