The 2016 Oscars might have been one of the most newsworthy and controversial award shows ever — and that’s before it even aired. No matter where you fell on the issue of the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, it caused a bevy of headlines and discussions. The scandal needed to be acknowledged, and the Oscars certainly did. Hosted by Chris Rock, the 2016 Academy Awards was almost solely dedicated to racial imbalance in Hollywood. It’s likely that the telecast of the Oscars in 2016 will be as controversial as the build-up to it. Here are some of our favorite and least favorite moments.

Related: 2016 Oscars: Complete List of Winners

2016 Oscars: The Best Moments

The Opening Monologue

Let’s just be honest with one another, there was no else who could have handled the #OscarsSoWhite scandal better than Chris Rock. The monologue was smart, insightful, at times uncomfortable but, above all, funny. The opening monologue was so good it made me a little disappointed to realize that the Oscars wouldn’t be a three-hour stand-up special by Chris Rock.

2016 Oscars Best Moments: Chris Rock Monologue

Tracy Morgan in The Danish Girl

This video short was much more miss than it was hit. It was basically a reprise of the monologue with less wit and tact. It’s a clever idea to put a bunch of famous black actors in predominantly white movies. It just wasn’t executed perfectly. The section with Tracy Morgan pretending to the eponymous Danish Girl was a comedic home run. I haven’t seen The Danish Girl — and I never will, if I’m being honest — so I’m just going to pretend this parody is 100% accurate.

Related: 2016 Oscar Predictions: Will ‘The Big Short’ or ‘The Revenant’ Win Best Picture?

The Star Wars Droids Skit

It’s true that the jokes here weren’t funny or even really “jokes.” It was just C-3PO being himself, which is an irritating walking statute. It doesn’t matter. It was R2-D2, C-3PO and BB-8 and that’s all you need. We were all Jacob Tremblay of Room standing up to get a better look at some of our favorite metal characters.  It was just an overload of cuteness and nostalgia. It was also far better than the other fictional character appearance of the night — the Minions, aka the scourge of the Earth — presenting an award. 

2016 Oscars Best Moments: Star Wars Droids Skit

Chris Rock Interviews a Movie Theater in Compton

Maybe you think Chris Rock focused too much on the racial controversy of the Oscars, and you may be right. Still, this bit might have started as another skit of racial comedy but quickly turned into something else and much more inclusive. The people that Chris Rock talked to were genuinely funny. As can often happen with these type of sketches, the jokes weren’t at their expense either. Plus, black, white or whatever they all were revealed a central truth of our society: no one has seen or heard of Brooklyn.

2016 Oscars: The Worst Moments

Stacey Dash

Stacey Dash‘s bizarre cameo will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. My life is now separated into two halves, pre-Stacey Dash appearing as the new director of The Academy’s “Minority Outreach Program” and after. After Stacey Dash (ADS, if you will), the sun is a little less bright, my innocence gone and I’m way, way more uncomfortable.

2016 Oscars Worst Moments: Stacey Dash

The Thank You Scroll

The Oscars tried to cut down on the time of acceptance speeches by having nominees turn in all the people they wanted to thank ahead of time. The names then ran by on an insanely fast speed, which would make a radio traffic report say, “Slow down.” This might have been a good idea if the winners actually trimmed down thanking people, but every speech was still 75% thank yous.

Sam Smith Singing That Awful James Bond Theme

This is really just more of a problem with the nominations for the Oscars than the actual telecast, but still, this was terrible. I really like Sam Smith — a lot actually — but Spectre‘s theme song is so terribly boring. It doesn’t fit the majority of James Bond movies at all, though it may fit Spectre because I know no one who actually saw that movie. No matter what, though, this performance was a dull affair of an even duller song that went on far too long.

2016 Oscars Worst Moments: Sam Smith sings James Bond theme

The Weird Instrumental Music

There was something very strange going on with the entrances for the presenters. Sometimes, it made sense, like when Louis Gossett Jr. from An Officer and a Gentleman came out to “Love Lifts Us Up.” Mostly, though, the music was completely incongruous and wildly distracting. Louis C.K. came out to The Pink Panther theme and Eddie Redmayne presented the Oscar for Best Actress to “Take My Breath Away,” for crying out loud. The weirdest, though, was Vice President Joe Biden walking onstage to music from Indiana Jones to talk about sexual violence and abuse.

Ali G Presents Room

Comedy is subjective, it’s true. I’ve still found every one of Sacha Baron Cohen‘s original characters insufferable. Ali G is right up there with Borat, in terms of comedy characters who I like to imagine being six feet under the fictional ground. Sacha Baron Cohen couldn’t give me that courtesy, though. He couldn’t even act like a normal person for two minutes and had to present a Best Picture nominee in character as rapper Ali G. While the audience (and co-presenter Olivia Wilde) loved it, I did not. 

But what did you think? What were your personal best and worst moments? Did you agree with the winners? Did you predict the major award winners? What did you think of Chris Rock as the host? Will he be asked to host again? Do you want to see him host again?


(Images courtesy of ABC)

Derek Stauffer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.