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These Are the Best Jokes From the 2020 Oscars

Turns out you don't need a host for a raucous, hilarious ceremony.


There’s no one reason to watch the Oscars. There’s finding out who wins the awards (whether or not you’ve put money on it), sure, but plenty of folks tune in for the fashion or the singing and dancing or the jokes.

And speaking of jokes, while the Oscars went hostless again this year, the celebrities enlisted as presenters and the winners themselves brought their own jokes, which made for a pretty funny ceremony.

“We both have hosted the Oscars before, and this is such an incredible demotion,” Steve Martin cracked while opening the show with Chris Rock before making jokes about some of the audience members.

“Mahershala has two Oscars? You know what that means when the cops pull him over? Nothing,” Rock said. He also told Scorsese: “Marty I gotta tell you I loved the first season of The Irishman.”

Martin and Rock also remembered the most important rule of the Academy Awards monologue: always roast the Academy.

“Back in 1929 there were no black acting nominees,” Martin said.

“And now in 2020 we’ve got one,” Rock replied with a grin on his face.

Josh Gad came on to introduce Idina Menzel performing “Into the Unknown” from their movie Frozen 2, which he noted had been dubbed into 45 languages.

“Which means there are so many versions of Elsa. For instance, Canadian Elsa is basically the same, but with healthcare.”

“The iconic and brilliant Idina Menzel, pronounced exactly as it is spelled, is our Elsa,” a dig at John Travolta’s horrendous reading of her name at the 2014 ceremony.

SNL alumnae Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig were performatively mad until, after turning to “leave” the stage, they weren’t.

“That was an act,” Wiig said.  “We just know there are a lot of directors here tonight.” Even Scorsese was cracking up, and what more could you ask for?

It seems like every year a winner in one of the technical categories slips a solid joke into their one minute of fame. This year it was Donald Sylvester, the sound editor on Ford v. Ferrari.

“She raised our kids and she did a great job because neither one of ’em are politicians.” Zing.

“Not only does the cinematographer prepare the meals for the crew and cast,” Julia Louis-Dreyfus said to peals of laughter from around the theater, “it is also the cinematographer who knocks on your trailer door to let you know that it is time to get to the set to create magic.”

“And it is the cinematographer and only the cinematographer who is waiting patiently for you in that golf cart to ‘travel’ you to set,” Will Ferrell added, playing the part of clueless actor just as well.

Brie Larson, Gal Gadot, and Sigourney Weaver announced that they were starting a fight club with big stakes: “The loser gets to answer questions from journalists about how it feels to be a woman in Hollywood,” Gadot said, in a joke that Brad Pitt found absolutely hysterical.

The night really belonged to Bong Joon Ho. He and his film Parasite won Oscars for international feature film, director, original screenplay, and, of course, Best Picture.

“Thank you, and I’m ready to drink tonight,” he said with a grin, to loud cheers from the audience after winning international feature. It was less of a joke and more of a promise, one that he reiterated in his Best Director speech.

“Thank you, I will drink until next morning.”