Oscars: 7 Inside Jokes Explained

Kevin Spacey

After Darlene Love's spontaneous solo, Kevin Spacey came onstage to present a segment on the Academy's honorary awards. But before doing so, he said in the voice of his House of Cards character Francis Underwood, "And I sing because it's so nice to be out of Washington and here with all my Hollywood friends."

Sunday night's ceremony featured jokes about L.A.'s weather, key moments in nominated movies like "Captain Phillips," "Dallas Buyers Club" and "The Wolf of Wall Street" and Sandra Bullock's wealth.

The 86th Oscars featured jokes about stars not attending college and Meryl Streep's multiple Oscar nominations as well as bits in which host Ellen DeGeneres took a star-studded selfie and ordered pizza for the audience.

But there were also some moments that those not as familiar with Hollywood or this year's nominated movies wouldn't have understood. In case you fall into that group, The Hollywood Reporter explains some of those more obscure references.

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Ellen DeGeneres' 'Tough Couple of Days' in L.A. Opening Remarks

The host began her monologue seriously intoning that "it has been a tough couple of days for us here," before revealing that the source of this anguish was the fact that it had been raining in L.A. "It has been raining," DeGeneres explained. "We're fine. Thank you for your prayers." Yes, despite the song, it does sometimes rain in Southern California, and the Los Angeles area experienced stormy weather over the weekend, with downtown L.A. getting more than three inches of rain over a few days. Such downpours are somewhat unusual, however, with the recent weather marking the largest storm in the area since December 2010, according to the Los Angeles Times. L.A.'s CBS affiliate also reported that the period from Feb. 27-March 1 marked the greatest number of consecutive days with an inch or more of rainfall downtown in more than three years.

"Who's the Wine Captain Now?"

DeGeneres also made a joke during her opening monologue that seemed to confuse even its subject. After noting that Lupita Nyong'o is from Kenya, making her a Kenyan, DeGeneres pointed out that Captain Phillips' Barkhad Abdi is from Somalia. That would make him a "Somali," not a "sommelier," as DeGeneres joked. A sommelier is the wine expert at a restaurant. Although Abdi seemed confused by the joke, DeGeneres continued, saying "Who's the wine captain now?" That remark is a reference to Abdi's iconic line in Captain Phillips, in which he tells Tom Hanks' Richard Phillips, after he and the other Somali pirates take over Phillips' boat, "I'm the captain now."

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Dallas Buyers Club: A Film About Sex at Rodeos

Although Dallas Buyers Club is frequently, and accurately, described as a film about AIDS, as both Matthew McConaughey's Ron Woodroof and Jared Leto's Rayon are battling the terminal disease, DeGeneres joked that the film "deals with the serious issue of people who have sex at rodeos." "Don't do it," she added. "It looks appealing, but oof…" The film opens with McConaughey's character having sex at a rodeo. He later discovers that has AIDS, which he likely contracted by having unprotected sex.

What Jonah Hill "Showed" in The Wolf of Wall Street

DeGeneres also acknowledged Jonah Hill's Oscar-nominated work in The Wolf of Wall Street during her monologue. Referring to Hill's "amazing performance," DeGeneres said, "you showed us something in that film that I have not seen for a very long time." In one scene in the film, Hill's character pulls his penis out at a party and starts masturbating, which would be something the openly gay host likely would not have seen for quite some time.

Kevin Spacey Presents in Character

When Kevin Spacey took the stage to introduce clips of this year's honorees at the Governors Awards, he invoked his House of Cards character, Frank Underwood, who hails from Gaffney, S.C., and speaks with a thick Southern accent. "And I sing because it's so nice to be out of Washington and here with all my Hollywood friends," Spacey said.

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Matthew McConaughey: EdTV Star

DeGeneres introduced McConaughey when he took the stage to present an award not by referring to him as the star of Dallas Buyers Club, for which he won the best actor Oscar Sunday night, but as her "co-star from EdTV." EdTV was one of the many lighter films McConaughey made before he transformed his career, seeking out more challenging roles like his part in Dallas Buyers Club. EdTV starred McConaughey, DeGeneres, Woody Harrelson and Jenna Elfman in a movie about a man named Ed (McConaughey), who agrees to have his life filmed for a TV network.

Sandra Bullock Has "A Lot of Money"

After DeGeneres ordered pizza for the audience, she claimed she didn't have any money and asked which of the well-heeled guests could pay for the food and tip the delivery guy. Her first guess for who would have the deep pockets necessary to fork over the cash: Sandra Bullock. "You've got a lot of money," DeGeneres said to the Gravity star. Indeed, The Hollywood Reporter exclusively revealed that Bullock is set to make at least $70 million from the Warner Bros. film. Perhaps she didn't have any of that money on hand, though, since she looked like she couldn't help. DeGeneres then quickly moved on to beloved awards-show target and well-known mogul, Harvey Weinstein.