There’s a reason why the most important elements of a good Oscars party are comfy sofas and abundant snacks, and that reason is simple. The Oscars are long, and they run even longer if you tune in for the red carpet bonanza before the ceremony.
As you stifle a yawn around hour three this Sunday, thank your lucky stars it’s not 2002. The Whoopi-hosted 74th Academy Awards clocked in at 4 hours and 23 minutes, far past midnight. Now that’s a doozy.
Following 2002’s whopper of a ceremony — which was last in a long line of four hour-long ceremonies — the Academy has made a concerted effort to keep runtime down. Starting with the 2016 Oscars, all nominees submit a list of people they’d like to thank, which runs along the bottom of the screen during the speech. In addition to speeding up ceremonies, this quick fix livens up speeches.
Considering that the Academy doles out 25 awards over the course of the evening, it’s a miracle the award show isn’t longer. We have the orchestra, boldly cutting off acceptances speeches mid-sentence, to thank for whatever semblance of brevity that exists.
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