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The beginning of a new year also always means awards season is in full swing. Don’t mess it up, 2015 — 2014 was a great year of awards shows.
Because exceptional acceptance speeches can’t be guaranteed to liven a televised ceremony, The Hollywood Reporter applauds the top 10 staged bits — monologues, memoriams and performances — that are worthy of recognition themselves.
Ellen Degeneres’ Oscar Selfie
Show host Ellen DeGeneres created the most retweeted photo of all time by taking a selfie at the March ceremony with Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita Nyong’o, Kevin Spacey, Jared Leto and Channing Tatum, among others. With more than 3.3 million retweets, it was also the most-retweeted post on the social network this year.
Seth Meyers’ Industry-Scolding Emmys Opener
The Late Night host emceed the Emmys in August, kicking off his TV industry-targeted monologue by poking fun at the fact that the awards show was scheduled on a Monday, “which, if I understand television, means the Emmys are about to get canceled.” He also joked about Orange Is the New Black and True Detective’s category controversy, How I Met Your Mother’s not-so-well-received series finale, The Good Wife’s and Homeland’s decision to kill off their main characters, and The Big Bang Theory cast’s million-dollar episodic paycheck, telling Jim Parsons, “You’re worth every penny.”
Neil Patrick Harris’ Hedwig Moment at the Tonys
In June at the Tony Awards, newly-minted winners Neil Patrick Harris and Lena Hall performed “Sugar Daddy” from their revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, during which Harris gave Sting a lap dance, treated Orlando Bloom to a “car wash,” licked Samuel L. Jackson’s glasses and kissed David Burtka — all in a wig and heels.
Conan O’Brien’s Celebrity Cameos at the MTV Movie Awards
Conan O’Brien’s gigantic opening at April’s MTV Movie Awards was one for the record books, with the host landing cameos from 50 stars, including Russell Crowe, Taylor Swift, Anthony Hopkins, Martin Scorsese, Seth Rogen, Ice Cube, Adam Sandler, Elijah Wood, Jason Bateman, Chris Pratt, Fred Armisen, Willie Nelson, Jack White, Skrillex, Demi Moore, Paul Rudd, Charles Barkley, Katy Perry, Mindy Kaling, Demi Moore and even Grumpy Cat, among many others.
Beyonce kicked off the January telecast by surprising viewers and performing “Drunk in Love” atop a black chair on a revolving platform, wearing an all-black ensemble, smoky eyes and a wet bob. Jay Z later emerged in a black tux to rap his verse in the Beyonce track, and the two finished off the mid-tempo jam holding hands and dancing together.
Drake’s Duet at the ESPYs
Host Drake hilariously debuted three sports-themed tracks during the July awards show: “Honorable Mention” honored the second-place names of sports like 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick and Nascar’s Danica Patrick, also joking about how his music talent doesn’t win himself Grammys; after shouting out to the players’ spouses, he sang about “the real glue that holds the sports world together” — “Side Pieces,” a track about the affairs athletes have while on the road, and also featuring Brian McKnight; and a final track was inspired by “the side piece of the year — the elegant, the beautiful, the discreet, V. Stiviano,” complete with a music video showing auto-tuned clips of Donald Sterling’s interviews.
Billy Crystal’s Tribute to Robin Williams at the Emmys
At August’s Teen Choice Awards, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 nemesis came onstage with a mysterious black cross-body bag in tow. “You named me the most villainous? My wife — I have been married for 42 years — my wife asked me to tell you that she agreed with you,” he said. “I, on the other hand, do not. I think, on the contrary, that I am very nice. Sweet-tempered and generous — so generous in fact that I have brought you souvenirs from Panem! They’re berries. I wouldn’t eat them if I were you!” he warned as he tossed handfuls of berries to the audience (and front-row attendees hilariously scavenged to pick them up off the floor).
Pitbull’s Self-Aware AMAs Monologue
During the musician’s matter-of-fact monologue at the November awards show, the host joked that among the audience, he saw “black, white, pink, purple, orange, Asian, Latinos —and guess what? President Obama said, we can all stay!” in reference to his recent immigration address, and laughed, “ABC found out last year that when I spoke just 3 Spanish words, ratings went up 142 percent, so get ready for three hours of just subtitles!”
What were your favorite awards show moments of 2014? Sound off in the comments below!
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