Films

Best Award Show Skits

Between thanking God, agents, casting directors, co-stars, PR teams, and the brilliant mother who instilled a fierce work spirit inside them - it’s little surprise that acceptance speeches can go on for a while.

However, one area in which award shows clearly aren't skimping is on skit value. Oh, you know, those magnificent moments when guest presenters can either crack wise about certain actors - made even funnier by the forced smiles the gags are usually met by - or else lampoon whatever film they think is the flavour of the day.

So with the Oscars upon us once more this Sunday, we've listed some the very best.

Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig

Reading nominations aloud can be a fraught affair, loaded with anxious expressions and half-smirks as the camera pans onto that handful of candidates dying for it to be over. Not at 2013's Golden Globes it wasn’t. Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig acted as if they hadn’t seen the screeners, so hilariously opted to make up new plot lines instead. Tommy Lee Jones’s hangdog expression as the pair attempt to explain Meryl Streep’s “sassy sherriff” in Hope Springs, deliberate or not, is priceless.

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Ben Stiller

Already an expert at blue steel, Ben Stiller took on an entirely different blue for the 2010 Oscars, caking himself in make-up to look like a character from the Avatar universe to present, you guessed it, Best Make-up. We’re left to wonder what Stiller would have looked like in 3D.

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Ricky Gervais

Dunder Mifflin or Wernham Hogg? Whatever side of the Atlantic you prefer sourcing your paper chain-based guffaws from, one thing is for damn sure - not many award show skits have bettered Ricky Gervais's shining moment at 2008’s Emmys. Dryly ribbing Steve Carell on his win for The [US] Office the year earlier (“I made you"), he finishes by wandering into the audience and tussling with Carell for the mantelpiece-filler itself.

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Will Ferrell and Jack Black

The walk-off song - the orchestral way of telling someone they’re putting audience members to sleep - was lyricized by Will Ferrell and Jack Black into a song of beauty at the 2008 Oscars. It’s funny too, allowing both men the chance to pick on a few famous faces in the crowd via some altogether tedious rhyming.

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Tina Fey and Steve Martin

Proving class is permanent, Steve Martin’s double-take and off-the-cuff sounding remark (we’ll allow you to hear it for yourself, so not to diminish its cocky brilliance) at 2009's Oscars is marvellously aimed in the direction of Tina Fey’s fawning co-presenter, stopping her, and everybody else in that room, pretty much dead in their tracks.

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Hugh Jackman and Russell Crowe

“Very brave of them to give over the stage to a couple of Aussies", remarks ‘Jacko’ to ‘Rusty’, as two of Australian’s most no-nonsense blokes invade the 2012 BAFTA Awards. Yet in giving the rascals the freedom of the stage , with neither missing the opportunity to take a pop at the UK’s answer to an Opera House, as well as host Stephen Fry’s colossal vocabulary, Crowe and Jackman’s comic chemistry soars above your average Pom-bashing and into a truly exceptional piece of entertainment.

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Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill

Let’s be honest, no-one’s going to be pulling a late one to watch the results for Best Sound Editing come in. We doubt even the nominees care all that much. So then, it was probably a good job that organisers of the 80th Academy Awards drafted in Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill to overlook the category, wasn't it? The frizzy-haired bespectacled duo arguing over who takes on the role of ousted hosts Dame Judie Dench and Halle Berry, respectively, was an unexpected treat.

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