Oscars: Best and Worst Moments From the Show

10:53 PM 2/28/2016

by Patrick Shanley

Diversity, droids and Girl Scouts made the 88th Academy Awards a night to remember.

Lady Gaga hands GETTY - H 2016
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The 88th annual Academy Awards, held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, honored the year's best in film. The biggest names in Hollywood gathered to honor the stars and filmmakers from 2015, and also to be roasted by host Chris Rock, who took on the hot-button issue of diversity that has plagued the Academy since the announcement of this year's nominees.

The night featured lambasting of the Academy for its lack of diversity, of course, but it also had many lighter moments, including bear costumes, droids and even Girl Scouts.

Undoubtedly, the winners of the night's big awards will not be the only ones to make headlines. Here's a look at the best, and worst, moments from this year's Academy Awards.

  • Chris Rock's Opening Monologue

    Chris Rock, in his second stint as Oscar host, took on the touchy topic du jour of diversity at this year's Academy Awards. "I counted at least 15 black people in that montage," Rock said, referring to a brief video opening that highlighted many of 2015's most popular films, as he walked onstage. Rock's monologue focused heavily on the diversity issue, as many expected it would, and tackled the issue with humor, which had the audience laughing throughout.

    Read more Oscars: Read Chris Rock's Opening Monologue


  • Stacey Dash's Unexpected Appearance

    Stacey Dash, who made a stir in January when she commented on the #OscarsSoWhite controversy by saying, "We need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the Image Awards where you're only awarded if you're black," awkwardly came onstage briefly near the beginning of the night's show to say "Happy Black History Month."

    Read more Stacey Dash Explains Her Awkward Oscar Cameo

  • Chris Rock Remakes 'The Martian'

    In a montage spoofing this year's best picture nominees by splicing in black actors, Rock appeared in Matt Damon's role in The Martian as an astronaut stranded on Mars. Kristen Wiig and Jeff Daniels talked to him via satellite, referring to him as "black astronaut" and arguing whether it was worth their "white dollars" to bother rescuing him.

  • Star Wars Droids Honor John Williams

    The three most famous droids in the galaxy, C-3PO, R2D2 and BB-8 took to the stage to honor composer, and five-time Oscar winner, John Williams. "No wonder he has a good seat," said C-3PO. The golden droid also commented on Oscar, himself, saying, "I don't look like him, he happens to look like me."

  • Girl Scouts Sell Cookies to Oscar Attendees

    After mentioning how his busy work schedule had caused him to miss his daughter's Girl Scout cookie selling season, Chris Rock invited a bevy of Girl Scouts into the theater to sell their delectable wares to the unexpecting guests. 

    Read more Chris Rock Helps Daughter Sell Girl Scout Cookies to Kate Winslet, Matt Damon

  • Jared Leto References Pubic Wig

    Presenting the award for best makeup and hairstyling, Leto said, "Without the genius contributions of makeup artists and hair stylists, we wouldn't lose ourselves in classic films like The Godfather, The Elephant Man, Raging Bull, Magic Mike 2 … But lets be honest, they deserve an award just for putting up with us actors, not to mention the prosthetics: the wigs, the occasional merkin. if you happen to be laughing, please explain it to the person next to you — and if you aren't, Google it." Leto was referencing a small pubic wig worn by actors during nude scenes, for those interested.

    Read more What is a Merkin?

  • Suge Knight Makes an Appearance

    Host Chris Rock introduced one of the "stars" from Straight Outta Compton, Suge Knight. An actor who resembled Knight, with his trademark shaved head and full beard, appeared in a straitjacket and orange jumpsuit, flanked by two uniformed police officers. The real Knight is currently in jail awaiting trial for murder.

  • The Bear From 'The Revenant' Attends the Oscars

    Following the presentation of her best picture-nominated film, the star of The Revenant, the grizzly who mauled Leonardo DiCaprio, was shown applauding. 

  • Louis C.K. Presents Best Documentary Short Award

    Stand-up comedian Louis C.K. got some of the biggest laughs of the night when he presented the award for best documentary short, saying of the nominees: "These people will never be rich as long as they live." Commenting on the sheer passion and tenacity of documentary filmmakers, C.K. emphasized how much the Oscar meant to these artists and that their storytelling is not driven in any way by financial gains. "This Oscar is going home in a Honda Civic," C.K. quipped.

    Read more Louis C.K. Hilariously Introduces Best Documentary Shorts: "This Oscar's Going Home in a Honda Civic"

  • Dave Grohl Performs Acoustic Version of 'Black Bird' for In Memoriam Tributes

    In a slight variation on the yearly "In Memoriam" segment at the Oscars, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl performed an acoustic version of The Beatles' "Blackbird" while such late performers as Christopher Lee, Leonard Nimoy and Alan Rickman were remembered.

    Read more Oscars "In Memoriam": Abe Vigoda Among Snubs

  • Lady Gaga Performs "Til It Happens to You"

    After being introduced by Vice President Joe Biden, Lady Gaga performed a rousing rendition of her Oscar-nominated song, "Til It Happens to You" — from the documentary The Hunting Ground — which featured a crowd of sexual assault survivors joining the singer onstage in an effort to raise awareness. Gaga and the survivors received a standing ovation from the theater, the only musical performance of the night to do so. Ultimately, she lost the Oscar to Sam Smith's "Writing's on the Wall" from Spectre

    Read more Joe Biden Introduces Lady Gaga for Performance of "Til It Happens to You"

  • Sacha Baron Cohen Appears in Character as Ali G

    Introducing best picture nominee Room, actor Sacha Baron Cohen came out as his character Ali G, referring to himself as "another token black presenter." Cohen ended his presentation by raising his fist in the iconic pose made famous by the Black Panther party in the 1960s

  • Leonardo DiCaprio Wins His First Oscar

    After five nominations, DiCaprio finally received an Oscar for his role as frontiersman Hugh Glass in The Revenant. The star received a standing ovation from the theater as he made his way to the stage to accept the award and used the platform to comment on climate change, a passionate subject for the actor. 

    Read more Leonardo DiCaprio Wins First Oscar, Says "Climate Change Is Real"