Here are the most buzzworthy moments from the 2016 Oscars

oscars academy awards buzz moments chris rock hosting
As the 88th annual Academy Awards began, viewers were anxiously waiting to find out if their favorite flicks and actors would win, which categories would see big “upsets,” and which speeches and performances might stand out. Not to mention how host Chris Rock would approach the “Oscars So White” controversy, and who he would target during the opening monologue.

Did Leo finally take home a golden statue? Whose speech was the funniest? Most touching? Controversial? Just how adorable was nine-year-old Jacob Tremblay? And what moments had everyone talking?

The buzz began during the red carpet events prior to the official event. Jennifer Jason Leigh, nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for The Hateful Eight, seemed slightly out of it during her interview with Ryan Seacrest on E!’s special. But arguably the biggest surprise was Best Actor nominee Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) and Best Actress in a Supporting Role nominee Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs) playing to their nostalgic fans by walking the red carpet together. Can you believe it’s been nearly two decades since they starred together in the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic (which took home Best Picture)? Let’s all let out a collective “Aww.”

Chris Rock monologue | #OscarsSoWhite | Sam Smith & George Michael | Jared Leto’s merkin | The real Suge Knight

Chris Rock’s opening monologue


Right out of the gate, host Chris Rock addressed the elephant in the room: the controversy over the lack of diversity in this year’s nominations.

“Welcome to the Oscars. Or as some people like to call it, the ‘white people’s choice awards,'” the comedian joked. “If hosts were nominated, I wouldn’t be here; instead, you’d have Neil Patrick Harris.”

Rock, who addressed the issues with ease and expected humor, added that he did seriously consider quitting after so many people spoke out and pressured him to do so. “But the last thing I need is to lose another job to Kevin Hart,” he said, as the crowd erupted in laughter (including Hart himself, who was in the audience).

Arguably, the best part of Rock’s monologue was his blatant dig at Jada Pinkett-Smith and her vocal “boycott” of the Oscars. “Isn’t she on a TV show? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties,” he said. “I wasn’t invited!” Ouch.

On a more serious note, Rock suggested that with this being the 88th annual Academy Awards, the absence of any black nominations has had to have happened already at least 71 other times, including during the 1950s. “People didn’t protest back then,” he said, “because we had real things to protest at the time.” Double ouch.

Watch Now

Best Moments

The spoof video about how it’s tough for black actors to get good roles


Rock’s focus on black actors continued. And leave it to the funnyman to inject this focus into Oscar-nominated films in the most hilarious and, in one case, creepiest ways. It started with Whoopi Goldberg mopping the floors in a scene from Joy, where she mocks Jennifer Lawrence’s character for not being able to speak on camera about her new mop. Of course a white girl gets an entire movie made about her because she invented a mop, she says. A black person would have to invent a cure for cancer!

We also see Saturday Night Live’s Leslie Jones in place of the bear that attacks Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant, presumably after he failed to call her back after a date. In another clip, Rock himself plays the title role in the The Martian, while Jeff Daniels and Kristen Wiig contemplate whether to spend the $2,500 “white dollars” it would require to retrieve the black astronaut from outer space. But the real treat was Tracy Morgan in a dress wearing red lipstick and eating a pastry in his version of The Danish Girl. Welcome back, Tracy!

Watch Now

Rock calling Sam Smith George Michael

Blink and you might have missed it, but after Sam Smith performed his Oscar-nominated tune Writing’s on the Wall from the latest James Bond movie Spectre, Rock pointed his way and applauded the musician, noting that Father Figure is his favorite song. That tune was, of course, written by another notable openly homosexual Brit, George Michael. Guess Rock figures he’d even the playing field on the stereotyping front? But Smith got the last laugh; when he later picked up an Oscar for the song, and dedicated it to the LGBT community.

Jared Leto collectively gets the world to Google the word “merkin”

While introducing the award for Hairstyling alongside Margot Robbie, Oscar winner Jared Leto undoubtedly caused a collective “Google” for the word “merkin” as he referenced the, er, unique “hairstyle” type as being one that was occasionally required during filming. Do you know what a merkin is? If not, get ready for a hearty laugh once you look it up — #merkin.

The real Suge Knight

Rock highlighted several people in attendance on whom roles were based, including the real Michael Rezendes from the movie Spotlight (he was played by Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo) and the real Joy Mangano from Joy (played in the movie by Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence). Then, he cut to the “real Suge Knight” from Straight Outta Compton, showing a bald black man strapped to a gurney in an orange jumpsuit, flanked by two cops. Way to help the cause, Rock!

Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

Ambitious but not rubbish: The best 'Top Gear' episodes

Since its relaunch in 2002, 'Top Gear' has become required viewing for any serious gearhead. The great moments from this show may seem too numerous to count, but we've managed to pick some of the highlights from the first 25 seasons.
Home Theater

Bask in the glory of your home theater with these 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays

What good is a 4K TV if you don't have the means of pushing it to its limits? Here are our favorite 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, all of which are nothing short of stunning. It'll make you wonder why you haven't always watched movies this way.
Home Theater

PlayStation Vue adds more local channels, bringing the total to over 600

PlayStation Vue is Sony's answer to live TV without the need for a cable or satellite TV subscription. To help you understand the service, its plans, and numerous features, we've created this handy guide.
Movies & TV

Michelle Yeoh reportedly in talks for stand-alone ‘Star Trek’ show

Reports claims that actress Michelle Yeoh is in talks to reprise her Star Trek: Discovery role in a spin-off series. The series will focus on Georgiou being recruited into Section 31, a secretive organization within Starfleet.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Buster Scruggs,’ ‘Missing Link,’ ‘Mowgli’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Mortal Engines, and the first trailer for Missing…
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (November 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘Room 104,’ German thriller ‘Beat,’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: Room 104 returns for a second season, Robert the Bruce fights for Scotland's throne, and more.

‘The Grinch’ steals the box-office crown from ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Dr. Seuss' The Grinch is the new box-office champion, knocking off Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody and posting a better opening weekend than Jim Carrey's 2000 live-action film based on the character.
Movies & TV

The ‘Toy Story 4’ teaser trailer is here to fork with your emotions

Disney released the first teaser trailer for its latest addition to the Toy Story franchise. The quick glimpse of what's to come shows all our favorite toys back in action, as well as a strange -- and seemingly unhinged -- new character.
1 of 4