10 Oscar Speeches That Were 10 Words or Fewer

VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images
VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images

When Greer Garson won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1943 for Mrs. Miniver, she set a Guinness World Record for "Longest Oscars Acceptance Speech" with a rant that clocked in at five and a half minutes. That’s more than twice as much time as Gwyneth Paltrow spent on her famously long speech after she nabbed the same award for Shakespeare in Love in 1999.

Oscar producers imposed a 45-second time limit on speeches in 2010, but not every winner would have needed it. Here are 10 who thanked the Academy in 10 words or fewer.

1. ALFRED HITCHCOCK (1968) // Total Words: 5

It took Alfred Hitchcock 20 seconds to make his way across the stage to accept the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award but only six seconds to offer his simple, “Thank you," before pausing and adding, "Very much indeed.” In true Hitchcock fashion, he effectively gave us all we needed without showing too much.

2. JOE PESCI (1991) // Total Words: 5

One gets the feeling that Joe Pesci had a lot more to say than, “It’s my privilege, thank you,” when he won Best Supporting Actor for Goodfellas, but no one wants to see one of cinema’s greatest tough guys cry. Now go home and get your f***ing shinebox.

3. PATTY DUKE (1963) // Total Words: 2

Hitchcock and Pesci may have given two of the most memorably truncated Oscar speeches ever, but Patty Duke makes them both look positively long-winded. When she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Miracle Worker, her response was a to-the-point, but clearly heartfelt, “Thank you.”

4. WILLIAM HOLDEN (1954) // Total Words: 4


Getty Images

When he won Best Actor for Stalag 17, William Holden offered his thanks—twice—with a simple, “Thank you. Thank you.”

5. GLORIA GRAHAME (1953) // Total Words: 4

Gloria Grahame wasn’t fooling around when she breezed onto the stage to grab her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Bad and the Beautiful, uttering a quick, “Thank you very much,” without so much as stopping at the microphone to savor the moment.

6. LOUIE PSIHOYOS (2010) // Total Words: 2

If The Cove director Louie Psihoyos had his way, he would have said a lot more than just, “Thank you,” when he took home an Academy Award for Best Documentary. Fellow producer Fisher Stevens ate up the bulk of their 45 seconds, so when the mic finally came around to Psihoyos, he could only mutter two words before that ominous sound of orchestral strings hushed him. Psihoyos posted a video online of his intended speech the very next day.

7. DIMITRI TIOMKIN (1953) // Total Words: 6

When you win two Oscars in one night like High Noon music director Dimitri Tiomkin did in 1953, it makes sense to keep one of your speeches brief. But Tiomkin kept it short and sweet for both, offering a simple, "Thank you very much. Thank you,” for his first win for Best Dramatic or Comedy Score and, “I feel like a mother of the wonderful twins,” when he was handed a second statue for Best Original Song.

8. ALFRED NEWMAN (1953) // Total Words: 4

The year 1953 was a fine one for succinctness. Right before Tiomkin accepted his second award, fellow musician Alfred Newman offered a modest, “Thank you very much,” after receiving the Oscar for Best Musical Score.

9. DELBERT MANN (1956) // Total Words: 8

When Delbert Mann won his first and only Oscar for directing Marty, he made his appreciation clear: “Thank you. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.” And… scene!

10. BILLY WILDER (1961) // Total Words: 10

Billy Wilder won all three of the Oscars for which he was nominated for The Apartment—Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture. While he allowed himself a full 70 words on that last award, his acceptances earlier in the night were much less long-winded. He and co-writer I.A.L. Diamond showcased their talent for brevity when they each thanked each other. And when Gina Lollobrigida handed Wilder the Oscar for Best Director, he quipped, “Thank you so much, you lovely discerning people. Thank you.”

9 Vintage Thanksgiving Side Dishes We Shouldn’t Bring Back

We all have that aunt—the one who’s been bringing her Miracle-Whip-bound pimiento-pea salad to Thanksgiving dinner since time immemorial. Although you may swear she got her recipe straight from the devil, it turns out that cheese-and-lime-Jell-O salads and their ilk were all the rage in her day. So it’s not (totally) her fault! To cut her a little slack, here are some examples of vintage Thanksgiving-themed recipes that will make her salad look like a perfectly golden-brown turkey.

1. CRANBERRY CANDLE SALAD

Best Foods Mayonnaise Ad 1960s with Jello Molds

Nothing complements the tart, refreshing flavor of cranberry sauce like some gelatin and salty, eggy mayonnaise. If that weren’t weird enough, this recipe also tells you to shove a real candle in there and then light it. Ostensibly, you’re supposed to eat around the melted wax, but we can’t be sure—maybe it’s considered a condiment.

2. CANDIED SWEET POTATOES WITH ANGOSTURA BITTERS

This recipe for candied sweet potatoes, which involves baking them in a mixture of butter, sugar, and angostura bitters, is probably either really good or really bad. It sort of makes sense, adding bitters to cut down on the sugar factor. Alternatively, you could just not make a candied version of something that already has the word sweet in its name.

3. CREAMED ONIONS

This once-popular Thanksgiving mainstay has been neglected over the last century, for perhaps obvious reasons. In some households, the idea was to pour creamed onions over the turkey, like gravy, to add a little moisture. Or possibly because eating a chunky mouthful of pearl onions and cream sauce by itself is gross.

4. TURKEY AND STUFFING ON JELL-O

Thanksgiving Jello Ad

There’s not much to this one, is there? It’s a pile of turkey and stuffing dumped on top of a cranberry orange Jell-O ring—sounds delicious!

5. WINTER CORN

This mixture of corn, sour cream, and bacon is sometimes found on Midwestern Thanksgiving tables. It’s mostly off-putting because its main ingredient is creamed corn. That said, creamed corn really needs all the help it can get, so adding bacon can only improve it.

6. SWEET AND SOUR TANG POPCORN (A.K.A. ASTRONAUT POPCORN)

Reportedly, this was a popular Thanksgiving dessert in the ’70s. The idea seems to be an offshoot of caramel corn, but … with Tang powder.

7. HOT DR. PEPPER

You gotta give the good folks at Dr. Pepper a few points for at least trying here. They noticed that soda was not often considered a cozy, comforting holiday drink, and they stepped up to the bat undaunted. Bold move.

8. FROZEN JELLIED TURKEY-VEGETABLE SALAD

There’s only one way to improve a dish as alluring as Jellied Turkey-Vegetable Salad, and that’s to stick it in the freezer. From the sound of the recipe—which combines cream of celery soup, salad dressing, diced turkey, vegetables, and gelatin—this is basically the inside of a turkey pot pie if it was served frozen. And also if it was square.

9. JELL-O FRUIT CORNUCOPIA

Sure, cornucopias were for holding food in olden times, but don’t you wish you could eat one? Well, guess what—your years of longing are finally over, because someone has made a Jell-O version of one with fruit trapped in it. You don’t even have to take the fruit out of the cornucopia this time—you can just pop the whole thing in your mouth. Dreams do come true.

10 Amazing Facts About Stan Lee

BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images
BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images

Comic book legend Stan Lee’s life was always an open book. The co-creator of some of the greatest superheroes and most beloved stories of all time, Lee—who passed away on November 12 at the age of 95—became just as mythical and larger-than-life as the characters in the panels. In 2015, around the time of Marvel’s 75th anniversary, Lee had the idea to reflect on his own life, as he said, “in the one form it has never been depicted, as a comic book … or if you prefer, a graphic memoir.”

The result, published by the Touchstone imprint of Simon & Schuster in 2015, was Amazing Fantastic Incredible: A Marvelous Memoir—which was written by Lee with Peter David and features artwork by cartoonist and illustrator Colleen Doran. Here are 10 things we learned about Lee.

1. HIS WIFE WAS ALSO HIS BARBER.

As a bit of a throwaway fact, Stanley Martin Lieber (Stan Lee) revealed the secret of his slicked back mane on the second page of his memoir. “My whole adult life, I’ve never been to a barber,” he wrote. “Joanie always cuts my hair.”

2. HIS CONFIDENCE CAME FROM HIS MOTHER.

Lee wrote that as a child he loved to read books by Mark Twain, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and others, and his mother often watched him read: “I probably got my self-confidence from the fact that my mother thought everything I did was brilliant.”

3. YOUNG STAN LEE WROTE OBITUARIES.

Before writing about the fantastic lives of fictional characters, Lee wrote antemortem obituaries for celebrities at an undisclosed news office in New York. He said that he eventually quit that job because it was too “depressing.”

4. CAPTAIN AMERICA WAS HIS FIRST BIG BREAK.

A week into his job at Timely Comics, Lee got the opportunity to write a two-page Captain America comic. He wrote it under the pen name Stan Lee (which became his legal name) and titled it "Captain America Foils the Traitor’s Revenge." His first full comic script would come in Captain America Issue 5, published August 1, 1941.

5. HE WROTE TRAINING FILMS FOR THE ARMY WITH DR. SEUSS.

After being transferred from the army’s Signal Corps in New Jersey, Lee worked as a playwright in the Training Film Division in Queens with eight other men, including a few who went on to be very famous: Pulitzer Prize-winning author William Saroyan, cartoonist Charles Addams (creator of The Addams Family), director Frank Capra (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington [1939] and It’s a Wonderful Life [1946]) and Theodor Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss.

6. HE DEFIED THE COMICS CODE AUTHORITY WITH AN ANTI-DRUG COMIC.

In 1971, Lee received a letter from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare asking him to put an anti-drug message in one of his books. He came up with a Spider-Man story that involved his best friend Harry abusing pills because of a break-up. The CCA would not approve the story with their seal because of the mention of drugs, but Lee convinced his publisher, Martin Goodman, to run the comic anyway.

7. AN ISSUE AT THE PRINTERS TURNED THE HULK GREEN.

The character was supposed to be gray, but according to Lee, the printer had a hard time keeping the color consistent. “So as of issue #2,” Lee wrote, “with no explanation, he turned green.”

8. HIS WIFE DESTROYED HIS PRIZED TYPEWRITER.

According to Lee, during an argument, Joanie destroyed the typewriter he used to write the first issues for characters including Spider-Man and The Fantastic Four. “This happened before eBay," he wrote. "Too bad. I could’ve auctioned the parts and made a mint.”

9. A FIRE DESTROYED HIS INTERVIEWS AND LECTURES.

When Lee moved his family to Los Angeles, he set up a studio in Van Nuys where he stored videotapes of his talks and interviews, along with a commissioned bust of his wife. The building was lost to a blaze that the fire department believed was arson, but no one was ever charged with the crime.

10. HIS FAVORITE MARVEL FILM CAMEO WAS BASED ON ONE FROM THE COMICS.

Beginning with the first Spider-Man film in 2002, Stan Lee has made quick cameos in Marvel films as a service to the fans. He said that his appearance in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007) was inspired by the story of Reed and Sue Richards’ wedding in Fantastic Four Annual Volume 1 #3, in which he and artist/writer Jack Kirby attempt to crash the ceremony but are thwarted.

A version of this story ran in 2015.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER