Every Joke From Ellen DeGeneres' Academy Awards Monologue, Ranked

Jokes about Jennifer Lawrence and 12 Years a Slave were hits, others weren't so funny

By John Boone Mar 03, 2014 3:19 AMTags
Ellen DeGeneres, OscarsKevin Winter/Getty Images

BREAKING NEWS: Ellen DeGeneres did not dance once during her opening monologue hosting tonight's Oscars. Not once! She did not shimmy. She did not shake. She did nary a twerk nor a twist. But she did tell jokes.

Here is every joke she told, ranked from worst to best:

16. "I am happy to be back. I hosted seven years ago...Things are so different now. Last time when I was here, Cate Blanchett was nominated. Meryl Streep was nominated. Leonardo DiCaprio was nominated. Martin Scorsese was nominated. So different!"

Womp, woooooomp. We did enjoy the cutaway to Charlize Theron's resting bitchface.

15. "I really do think it's been an exception year for movies. One of the nominees is Her. And by her, I mean Meryl Streep. Meryl has been nominated for an Oscar a total of 18 times. It sounds good, but if you do the math, between dresses, hair and makeup, that's hundred of thousands of dollars. Simply put, Meryl cannot afford to be nominated again. That is a lot of money."

(Yes, she can.)

14. "June Squibb is nominated for Nebraska. At 84 years old, she is the oldest nominee. She was wonderful in Nebraska. [to June] I'M TELLING EVERYONE THAT YOU WERE WONDERFUL IN NEBRASKA. THE FILM THAT YOU DID. WONDERFUL."

13. "I think you should think of yourself as winners. Not all of you, but the people who have won before should think of yourself as winners. And I know what you're thinking: 'Ellen, that's easy for you to say. You've been chosen to host and that's kind of the highest award there is.' Thank you. [bows]" 

12. "Win or lose, you all look beautiful tonight. Sandy, you look beautiful And Cate, you look—everybody looks beautiful. I'm not going to say who looks the prettiest tonight, but it's clear. It's Jared Leto. He's the prettiest.

This isn't a joke. This is just a fact.

11. "I'm listing all these people, like you're up against each other. You're all so talented and I don't want you to think of this as any kind of a competition. It's a celebration. Although who are we kidding? It's The Hunger Games. I mean, there are cameras everywhere. You're starving. Jennifer Lawrence won last year. It is The Hunger Games."

10.  "The real Captain Phillips is here tonight. And the real Philomena is here tonight. And, I have to say, one of the most amazing Liza Minnelli impersonators I have seen in my entire life. I must really. Seriously. Good job, sir."

(We thought it was funny. She didn't seem to enjoy it so much.)

9. "Dallas Buyers Club is a very important movie. It deals with the serious issue of people who have sex at rodeos. Don't do it. It looks appealing, but...Speaking of sex at the rodeo, Bruce Dern is here tonight."

"I just needed a transition."

OSCARS: Here is a list of all this year's Academy Award winners

8. "Tonight's theme is heroes in Hollywood and we need heroes now more than ever. People around the world are having hard times. And movies offer us an escape. Movies inspire us. I'm not saying movies are the most important thing in the world, because we all know the most important thing in the word is youth."

Which got better because of the second half:

7. "No, we know that the most important thing in the world is love and friendship and family, and if people don't have those things, well then, they usually get into show business."

6. "We have other first-time nominees. Lupita Nyong'o is here. Amazing performance in 12 Years a Slave. She is from Kenya. She is a Kenyian. And Barkhad Abdi is here. He is nominated for Captain Phillips. He's from Somalia. He is a Sommelier, so he knows a lot about wine and that is impressive. Who's the wine captain now?!"

5. "I did a little bit of research and between all the nominees here tonight, you've made 1,400 fims. And you've gone to a total of six years of college. I'm kidding. Kids, stay in school."

Julia Roberts loved that one!

And bonus points for: "Amy Adams, you went to college, right?"


4. "Welcome to the Oscars. For those of you watching around the world, it has been a tough couple of days for us here. It has been raining. We're fine. Thank you for your prayers."

3. "Jonah Hill is nominated for his amazing performance in Wolf of Wall Street. Honestly, I have to say, you showed us something in that film that I have not seen for a very, very long time. You get it?"

(In the movie Jonah Hill masturbates at a pool party. And Ellen DeGeneres is a lesbian. You get it? Nothing makes a joke less funny than explaining it, but if you got it the first time, it was funny.)

2. "Jennifer, by the way, I am not going to bring up what happened last year, when you were—"

"It's ridiculous, I mean, something like that happens and it's embarrassing and people just talk about it and it's just, you know. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, last year, she fell on the way up. Tripped. I don't know if she got caught on the dress. Let's just show the clip. I'm kidding, I'm not going to show the clip. I'm kidding, I am. I'm not. And you know the thing where you fell out of the car tonight? No one needs to know that, I'm not going to mention that. She fell, on the way out of the car. Like on an orange cone you tripped or something. If you win tonight, I think we should bring you the Oscar."

Points for sheer persistence. Plus, it reminded us of the diarrhea at Barnes and Noble gag from Mean Girls.

1. "Anything could happen tonight! So many possibilities! Possibility number one, 12 Years a Slave wins Best Picture. Possibility number two, you're all racists. And now, please welcome our first white presenter, Anne Hathaway."

We don't even mind that we made the joke first.