Come this Sunday, the eyes of millions of Americans will be glued to their TVs. Hours before the ceremony even starts, media parasites will swarm around the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood blabbing endlessly about who will win this award or that award, what they will wear. The excitement will get turned up a notch when the stars arrive. They will look like they just want to get inside, get their gift bags, and partake of the free champagne as the ugly media leeches sidle up to them and ask them questions. The look on the stars’ faces will say, “Standing next to you makes me nauseous, but I’ll be cordial so you don’t defame me all over the tabloids tomorrow morning.” Once the bloodsuckers have had their fill, the stars will make their way inside, the music will swell, and the massive self-congratulatory and self-promoting pat on the back that is the Academy Awards will ensue.

Ah, yes. The Oscars have certainly become an American tradition. You and I both know how things will go, with the exception of a few surprises- you know, Cuba may do a backflip or Adrian may lay a big wet one on Halle, stuff like that. However, despite our familiarity with the whole ritual, there are still some things that the public at large is still unaware of when it comes to the Oscars. So, in the spirit of education, I’ve provided some of these little known trivia:
1. The statuette stands on a film reel.
You wouldn’t know it looking at the statuette on TV, but the famous golden guy is actually standing on a reel of film. The film reel has five spokes, with each representing one of the five branches of the original Academy: Actors, Writers, Directors, Producers and Technicians. Bet you didn’t know that.
2. No one knows where the name ‘Oscar’ really came from.
While theories abound, no one knows for sure who first coined the name Oscar. Bette Davis called the award Oscar in 1936; Walt Disney in 1932. It may have been dubbed such by an executive secretary to the Academy who commented that the statuette reminded her of her Uncle Oscar.
3. Oscar is Latino.
I’m sure you’ve wondered where the golden statuette got its chiseled physique. Well, wonder no more! Oscar was modeled after Mexican actor, screenwriter, and director Emilio “El Indio” Fernandez, who posed nude for Academy sculptors.
4. Oscar winners don’t really own their statuettes.
Academy rules stipulate that Oscar winners cannot sell their statuettes, which have been known to sell at auction for six figures, unless they first offer to sell them back to the Academy for $1. Big difference. This has led to the legal implication that the statuettes do not belong to the winners.
As you watch the Academy Awards this Sunday, your enjoyment will be amplified as you think about those choice, only-for-the-elite details I just shared with you. You may share them with your companions to sound smart and in-the-know. On the other hand, you may forget them entirely, entranced instead by Gwyneth’s Gucci dress.
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2 comments on “4 Trivial Oscar Secrets

  • Oscar is Latino–how ahead of their times they were to be so politically correct!

    I like the tongue-in-cheek tone here. I have a friend who has dubbed the Oscars as “those awards they sit around and give themselves.” Now seriously, can you argue with that?

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