Mikey’s Absurdly Geeky Oscar Trivia Quiz

"Tutankhamun And The Golden Age Of The Pharaohs" Exhibit OpeningIn Search of Ancient Oscars

Did you know the word “quiz” originally meant an odd person?  That’s from the Oxford English Dictionary.  In the days before the Internet I used to read dictionaries and reference indexes while in residence upon the porcelain throne.  Some prefer magazines, I’m told.

The rules of the quiz are like my previous ones.  Correct answers will earn virtual prizes.  In other words, all these questions are pointless, though hopefully amusing.  The answers appear below, as the first Comment.

1.)  This year’s awards feature both the oldest and youngest nominees ever for Best Actress, aged 85 and 9.  Can you name the oldest and youngest of all the past Oscar recipients?

2.)  What do Duck Soup (1932), King Kong (1933), The Invisible Man (1933), Modern Times (1936), and Bringing Up Baby (1938) all have in common?

3.)  Who is the most Oscar nominated character in films?

YulKing“I looked like an Oscar, and won one, and a Tony etc. etc. etc.”

4.)  Oscar recipients William Holden and Alfred Hitchcock gave brief speeches consisting of a single “Thank you.”  Who “thankyoued” the most times?

5.)  Have any Oscars won Oscars?

6.)  Oscars are usually made of “brittanium”, which is 93% tin, then gold-plated.  Twice they were composed of vastly different materials. Name either.

SilvrSurfrAn Oscar from Outer Space?

7.)  Fabulous designer gowns are an Oscar tradition, but one actress paid no attention to it.  Who was she?

8.)  Some think of Hollywood as a bastion of liberalism, but the Academy instituted a rule in 1957, still in effect, that should place that characterization in some dispute.

9.)  I know many of you readers are also aspiring screenwriters.  One 35-minute film with barely any dialogue won Best Original Screenplay.

10.) Academy Awards aren’t always treated with respect by their owners.  William Hurt and Whoopi Goldberg say they “can’t remember where” theirs are.  What does Disney/Pixar animation mogul John Lasseter do with his several statuettes?


Good Luck to the Nominees!  (Answers are the first Comment.)


Filed under Cinema, humor, photos

18 responses to “Mikey’s Absurdly Geeky Oscar Trivia Quiz

    1.) They sometimes award non-competitive Oscars, a nice tradition. If you read the question carefully, you would have taken this into account. The oldest was Eli Wallach, age 94, for his long body of character work. The youngest was Shirley Temple, age 6, who was given the (no longer awarded) Juvenile Oscar for being a ray of hope in the Great Depression.
    2.) No nominations in any category!
    3.) It’s King Henry VIII of England (*burp*), portrayed at least 20 times, and nominated thrice, when played by Charles Laughton, Richard Burton and Robert Shaw.
    4.) Gwyneth Paltrow said “thank you” 23 times, in about 45 seconds.
    5.) Only Oscar Hammerstein II, who won twice for Best Song.
    6.) In 1938, ventriloquist Edgar Bergen was given an Honorary Oscar made of wood, and when metals were scarce during WWII, they used plaster instead.
    7.) When Joanne Woodward won Best Actress for The Three Faces of Eve in 1958, she made her own dress.
    8.) NO COMMUNIST MAY WIN AN ACADEMY AWARD. Only ex-Communists like Dalton Trumbo I guess 😉
    9.) The Red Balloon (1956).
    10.) He puts Barbie clothes on them.

  2. Thanks so much for dropping by again today. And, I really like your choice of reading material on that “porcelain throne.” Words are just awesome…and so are people like you who delight in them!

  3. Pie

    I wouldn’t have been able to answer any of them, but I thoroughly enjoyed the questions. John Lasseter putting Barbie clothes on his Oscar statuettes is a nice touch.

  4. Guessed Oscar Hammerstein, & Shirley Temple & should have got Eli Wallach. Thought about Henry VIII too. But kicking myself that I didn’t get the King Kong, Duck Soup etc question! Great quiz.

  5. Hi, Mikey

    I’m with Pie, but I was hoping for the one question I might have been able to answer: didn’t Bette Davis coin the name ‘Oscar’ for the Academy Awards? After the middle name of her (first?) husband known as ‘Ham’? I only know this because she’s one of my favourite actresses and I read her biog. Apparently, the shape of the Academy Award reminded her of, er, …him.

    I’m now going to catch up on your back catalogue. Bear with me.

    • Glad to have you back, Debra. I did consider using that question, but sadly, it isn’t one with a definitive answer. The root of the name “Oscar” is contested. One biography of Bette Davis claims that she named it after her (or an appendage of her) first husband, band leader Harmon Oscar Nelson. Bette had an extremely bawdy sense of humor, so I tend to regard this as an intentional joke.

      One of the earliest mentions in print of the term Oscar dates back to a Time magazine article about the 1934 6th Academy Awards. Walt Disney is also quoted as thanking the Academy for his Oscar as early as 1932.

      Another claimed origin is that the Academy’s Executive Secretary, Margaret Herrick, first saw the award in 1931 and made reference to the statuette’s reminding her of her “Uncle Oscar” (a nickname for her cousin Oscar Pierce). Columnist Sidney Skolsky was present during Herrick’s naming and seized the name in his byline, “Employees have affectionately dubbed their famous statuette ‘Oscar'”.

      Another version reports that the Norwegian-American Eleanor Lilleberg, executive secretary to Louis B. Mayer, saw the first statuette and exclaimed, “It looks like King Oscar II!”. At the end of the day she asked, “What should we do with Oscar, put him in the vault?” and the name stuck.

      The trophy was officially dubbed the “Oscar” in 1939 by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. As with all legends, you may choose the story you prefer.

  6. Very interesting! I hope you’ll one day publish your film book (as previously requested). Perhaps you could set up a ‘pre-order’ facility…

    • That book is more of a certainty than other buns I have in the oven. I’ve been working on it for some months. I’m in no hurry though. I plan to retire from my medical imaging career in 2016, after which I’ll have at least 35 more hours a week I can devote to writing. Thanks for your encouragement!

  7. I only knew the answer to #5 but should have at least known in question #1 that Shirley Temple was the youngest.

    Here’s my question to you (I don’t know the answer but hope that you do): Who has won the most Oscars?

  8. galenpearl

    All I can say is, don’t ever have me on your Trivia team. (I’ve been away dealing with family stuff. Just had some fun catching up on your blog.)

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