Half of the anticipation of Oscars night is watching stars behaving bizarrely when they accept their Academy Award: Roberto Benigni stepping on furniture in a manic effort to get to the stage or Marlon Brando -- he was AWOL the night he won -- sending a Native American activist to accept his award. The list goes on.
Notorious Oscars acceptance speeches -- such as Sally Field's “You like me!” speech prompt mockery because of their obvious strangeness. But on Saturday night, at a performance event at the Public Theater in New York called “You Like Me: An Evening of Classic Acceptance Speeches,” the humor of certain acceptance speeches was brought to life mainly through performers' dramatic reinterpretations.
Created by Michael Schulman and Rachel Shukert and directed by Peter James Cook, “You Like Me” featured a live cast of 15 performers recreating, verbatim and often across gender, acceptance speeches that have become infamous.
Among the most bizarre Oscar speeches given new life by "You Like Me" performers' interpretive readings are the speeches below.
Angelina Jolie’s effusive acceptance speech for her "Girl, Interrupted" best supporting actress win in 2000:
Roberto Benigni’s acceptance speech after winning best actor for "Life Is Beautiful" in 1998:
Jack Palance's win for best supporting actor in "City Slickers" in 1991, which he begins when he says of host Billy Crystal, "I crap bigger than him":
Sally Field's acceptance speech for best actress in "Places in the Heart" in 1985, notable not only for the "you like me" part, but also for her slip of the tongue, when she describes her acting obsession as "an obsession of me":
Shirley McClaine's speech in 1984 following her best actress win for "Terms of Endearment," which ends with her declaring "I deserve this!"