Academy Awards 2012: Fast Facts About the Oscar Plus Chicago Oscar Celebrations.

Academy Awards 2012: Fast Facts About the Oscar Plus Chicago Oscar Celebrations.

Chicago, Thursday, February 23, 2012.  The hype, the hopes, the endless awards, the red carpet, the fashion faux pas and celebrity sightings will be keeping many glued to their television sets, some falling asleep and others a reason to party this Sunday It's the 84th Annual Academy Awards with wall to wall celebrations centered around "Oscar."

Before he gets lost in the crowd, Show Me Chicago is taking an in-depth look at the small statuette, named Oscar providing you with all you'll ever want or need to know about the little guy.

How Did Oscar Get His Name.

Many legends and claims surround the naming of the Academy statuette called Oscar but there is no definitive answer. The most popular of the theories is that around 1930, AMPAS librarian Margaret Herrick commented that the statuette resembled her Uncle Oscar.  According to legend the trophy was informally called Oscar since that time and officially sanctioned as "Oscar" by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in 1939.

Oscar Yore.

The first Academy Awards were presented on May 16, 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel with an audience of about 270 people. The cost of guest tickets for that ceremony was $5. Fifteen statuettes were awarded to actors, directors and others in the film making industry for the years 1927 and 1928.

Oscar Stats.

Oscar stands 13.5" tall and weighs 8.5 lbs., made of gold-plated britannium with a black metal base.The design is a knight standing on a reel of film with his hands gripping a sword with the five spokes of the reel representing the original branches of the Academy: Actors, Writers, Directors, Producers, and Technicians.

Oscar Trivia.

Bob Hope hosted the most awards show with a hard to beat 18 shows starting in 1940 with his final show in 1978.   Billy Crystal comes in a distant second with his first gig in 1990 and his ninth show coming up Sunday.

Oscar Comes to the Small Screen.

The Oscars were first broadcast on television in 1960.

The Long and the Short of It.

In 2007, you may remember sitting through the longest broadcast in Academy history, nearly four hours (3 hours and 51 minutes), with Ellen DeGenere at the helm and the best picture nod going to The Departed.  In contrast, the shortest broadcast was the first in 1960--running an efficient 1 hour and 40 minutes with Ben Hur going home with the award for best picture and Bob Hope hosting.

Winner of the Most Oscars.

Walt Disney won "the Oscar" 26 times.

Movies With the Most Oscar Nominations.

All About Eve (1951) and Titanic (1997) are tied with 14 each.

Chicago's Connection Oscar.

R.S. Owens and Company, a Chicago based manufacturing firm located at 5535 North Lynch Avenue, makes the Oscar statuettes for the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences along with other statuettes including the Emmy, Clios, MTV and many others.

Famous Real Life Oscars.

Oscar Peterson, jazz pianist and composer; Oscar Wilde, Irish writer and poet; Oscar de la Renta, fashion designer; Oscar Hammerstein, librettist, theatrical producer; Oscar Robertson, NBA legend.

Famous Fictional Oscars.

Oscar the fish, in Fish Hooks.
Oscar the Grouch, from Sesame Street.
Oscar Madison, the messy part of The Odd Couple.
Oscar Mayer, the wiener.
Oscar Martinez, from The Office.

Chicago Red Carpet Celebrations.

Cityscape Bar’s viewing party offers fans a chance to view the broadcast while sipping on themed cocktails available all day for $6 each including The Oscar Martini and others plus food and appetizers. Guests who wish to enjoy a full dinner after the show can dine at ItaliAsia Restaurant located adjacent to Cityscape Bar. 350 W. Mart Center Drive, 312 836 5000.

Lobby Lounge, 150 W. Roosevelt Rd in the South Loop will feature the show on five 50-inch HDTVs.  Guests can sip on their exclusive “Evening Gown” cocktail (Voli Lyte, Sour, Triple Sec and Sprite; $12 and only 110 calories) and the “Black Tie” (Hennessey Cognac, Canton Ginger, Ginger Ale; $12). 312 564 2104.

The Official Chicago Party at the Gene Siskel Film Center has all the bells and whistles along with a red carpet and is usually a sell-out event. 164 N. State St.

The  Kit Kat Lounge in Boystown will be holding their annual Awards party featuring five jumbo screens, Red Carpet tapas and Oscartinis.  3700 N. Halsted.

Always popular, the Center on Halsted hosts its annual Oscar extravaganza at Park West. Walk the Red Carpet and celebrate the Center's achievements of serving the LGBT community.

This Year's Broadcast.

The  84th Annual Academy Awards broadcast will be this Sunday, February 26  on ABC, starting at (4:00 p.m. PST, 6:00p.m.CST and 7:00 p.m., EST) from the  HOLLYWOOD & HIGHLAND CENTER (formerly the Kodak Theatre) in Hollywood, California.


Leave a comment
  • Academy librarian Margaret Herrick never had an “uncle Oscar.” I’ve been trying to get the true story published somewhere, anywhere. The Academy refuses to acknowledge the truth and goes with the myth.

    Hollywood reporter Sidney Skolsky coined “Oscar” in 1934. It’s the first time “Oscar” has been cited in print, and Time magazine and others credited Skolsky in the 1930s.

    Skolsky said that he was thinking of the vaudeville line “Have a cigar, Oscar!” That takes us directly to the identity of Oscar—cigar manufacturer and opera impresario Oscar Hammerstein. His songwriting grandson, also named Oscar, would win two Oscars on some enchanted evenings.

    P.S. Yes, I'm also the "Windy City" etymology guy.

  • If it's good enough for Time magazine, it's good enough for me. Thanks for your input--it would be good to get the origin straightened out once and for all.

Leave a comment