The 25 Craziest Moments in Award Show History
The Biggest Award Show Moments
When a show is live (or even on a seven-second delay), almost anything can happen. Check out the craziest moments, ahead.
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Madonna, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera Kiss at the 2003 VMAs
Two generations of pop divas come together in a trashy-delightful menage. Scandalous cherry on top: The original broadcast featured a well-timed audience cut to Britney's ex Justin Timberlake.
Britney Spears Performs With the Albino Python, 2001 VMAs
At the turn of the millennium, Britney Spears simply was MTV. One year after stripping to the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction," she returned with her most gloriously shameless VMA display: "I'm a Slave 4 U," performed with an extraordinarily unsubtle python.
Kanye West Interrupts Taylor Swift at the Podium, 2009 VMAs
Yo, Taylor. We're really happy for you, and we're gonna let you finish, but Kanye West interrupting your VMA acceptance speech was the best interruption of all time. Of all time!
Adrien Brody Goes in For a Sloppy Kiss With Halle Berry, 2002 Oscars
Brody stunned everyone when he beat out Jack Nicholson, Daniel Day_Lewis, and Michael Caine to become the youngest Best Actor winner ever. Then he literally swept Halle Berry off her feet. It could only be all downhill from there.
Woody Allen Makes His Only Appearance at the Oscars, Post-911 in 2002
No matter how many Oscar nominations the Academy showered on Allen's films, the filmmaker always avoided the ceremony. But post-9/11, a year in which he had no film, he came on stage for a moving tribute to New York cinema, thanking Hollywood for its support.
Michael Jackson Kisses Wife Lisa Marie Presley, 1994 VMAs
Jackson walked on stage holding his new bride's hand. "Just think," he said, "nobody thought this would last." It did not.
Aretha Franklin Sings Opera, filling in for Pavarotti, 1998 Grammys
Every now and then, one of the world's greatest opera singers cancels an appearance at the last minute. And every now and then, the undisputed Queen of Soul agrees to fill in for him.
Jack Palance Does One-Armed Push-Ups, 1991 Oscars
The 73-year-old Hollywood lifer gave the most exuberant Oscar speech ever: After winning Best Supporting Actor for City Slickers. he performed three one-armed push-ups on stage. "As far as the two-handed push-ups are concerned," he said, "you can do that all night."
Roberto Benigni Climbs Over People's Seats to Reach the Podium, 1998 Oscars
Yes, Roberto Benigni won two awards in a single night. More impressive: He remains the only person in history to celebrate his first Oscar win by jumping on the back of Steven Spielberg's chair.
Ellen DeGeneres Organizes an Oscar-Worthy Selfie, 2014 Oscars
The perfect snapshot microcosm of a whole era in Hollywood history. It quite literally overloaded Twitter with the number of retweets. Also, proof that Bradley Cooper is very good at framing.
Diana Ross Goes Hands-On With Lil Kim’s Pastie, 1999 VMAs
That time Diana Ross was greeted by a small rapper in a revealing sparkly purple bodysuit, and Mary J. Blige looked on, her expression unreadable.
Lady Gaga Wears a Meat Dress, 2010 VMAs
Gaga's rise to fame turned into a game of fashion brinkmanship, with the ascendant diva constantly topping herself for weirdo style. The grotesque high point: the meat dress, complete with an uncooked-meat cap.
Lady Gaga Stuns With <em<Sound of Music Songs, 2015 Oscars
A half-decade on from butcher-chic, Gaga confirmed her newfound mature phase with a musical medley honoring The Sound of Music. A visibly delighted Julie Andrews appeared on stage to bless her with a hug.
Beyoncé Reveals Her Baby Bump, 2011 VMAs
Beyoncé is the trendiest of Trending Topics .But the undisputed champion of Internet-breaking events outdid herself when she ended her "Love on Top" number with official bun-in-the-oven confirmation. Earth, meet Blue Ivy.
Melissa Etheridge Makes Her First Appearance With Her Bald Head While Fighting Cancer, 2005 Grammys
Coming off a round of chemotherapy for breast cancer, the singer-songwriter dueted on "Piece of My Heart" in tribute to Janis Joplin. The song became a cancer-battle anthem — and once again confirmed Etheridge as one of music's bravest, most unapologetic performers.
Van Halen Reunites for the First Time in a Decade, 1996 VMAs
"This is the first time that we've actually stood on stage together in over a decade," declared singer David Lee Roth, reunited ever-so-briefly with his fellow band members.
Robin Thicke Twerks with Miley Cyrus, 2013 VMAs
Briefly popular thanks to "Blurred Lines," Thicke walked on stage for his big moment wearing a supervillain striped suit. he immediately got twerked right out of the zeitgeist by Cyrus, wearing a suggestive foam finger (and not much else.)
Britney Spears Mounts Her Comeback, 2007 VMAs
What does it look like when a pop culture era ends? For Britney Spears, it looks like three minutes of gyrations and lip-synching.
Jennifer Lawrence Trips on Her Way to the Podium, 2013 Oscars
A perfect moment: Ascendant young superstarlet crowns a big year with the big prize. A minor calamity: The starlet falls on the steps. An even more perfect moment: She picks herself up, not even noticing that Hugh Jackman and Bradley Cooper — Two Sexiest Men Alive! — are running to her aid.
David Letterman Cracks Painful "Uma... Oprah..." Joke, 1994 Oscars
Letterman's Oscar-hosting gig isn't as bad as you might remember — except for his opening Uma Thurman/Oprah Winfrey riff, a dead-air gag that became the go-to example of award-show train-wreck hosting.
Jodie Foster Comes Out, 2013 Golden Globes
The famously private Foster gave a teasingly circuitous speech about herself and Hollywood. While she "came out," she also deconstructed what it means to come out — and the idea of privacy in a time when every celebrity has "a press conference, a fragrance, and a prime-time reality show."
Jennifer Hudson Performs Emotional "You Pulled Me Through" After Murders of Her Mother, Brother, and Nephew, 2009 Grammys
Mere months after the devastating shooting deaths of her mother, brother, and nephew, the Idol breakout-turned-Oscar winner delivered an impossibly touching performance on stage. (She won her first Grammy that night.)
John Travolta Screws Up Idina Menzel's Name, 2014 Oscars
Oh, the unplanned joys of live television! We expect the unexpected — accidental f-bombs, political demonstrations, wardrobe malfunctions. But when the Pulp Fiction star introduced the Frozen songstress as "Adele Dazeem," he raised the act of flubbing into a Twitter-imploding art form.
Bob Dylan Gets Soy Bombed, 1998 Grammys
Dylan was pleasantly singing "Love Sick," a song so inoffensive that Victoria's Secret turned it into an ad. Then performance artist Michael Portnoy ran up next to Dylan, "Soy Bomb"scrawled across his bare chest. Gesticulating (and gate-crashing TV history) ensued.
Christopher Reeve Introcues Film Clips About Social Issues After His Accident, 1995 Oscars
Less than a year after an accident left him paralyzed from the neck down, the once and future Superman appeared on stage. The standing ovation lasted a full minute. Then he started talking — and had to keep pausing for more applause.