Your 2023 Oscars Drinking Game

The Oscars are back, baby! After last year’s Slap Heard ‘Round The World, most commentators agree that this year’s telecast couldn’t possibly live up to the excitement of the last year’s. In fact, there are apparently “crisis response teams” standing by in case things get too interesting. (Would “crisis teams” require “crisis actors?” No one tell Alex Jones about this). The rub is that there’s a decent chance I’m going to have to go back to getting drunk during this thing to make it interesting.

Jimmy Kimmel is set to host the telecast, meaning probably fewer musical numbers and more pranks (I’m not mad about it). Word around the campfire is that he was chosen basically because he’s an emcee who wouldn’t get too rattled if any big brouhahas or kerfuffles happen again. “We felt like we needed someone who could definitely handle the show,” Janet Yang told the Hollywood Reporter back in November.

It will be Kimmel’s third time hosting, having previously hosted in 2017 and 2018. (I also ranked this year’s best picture nominees here).

How To Watch:

The basics: The 95th Academy Awards ceremony will air live this Sunday, March 12, 2023, at 5 pm Pacific/8 pm ET on ABC. You can also stream it on Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, FuboTV, and AT&T.

The Presenters

This year’s presenters will include (deep breath):

Pedro Pascal, Kate Hudson, Harrison Ford, Halle Berry, Paul Dano, Cara Delevingne, Mindy Kaling, Eva Longoria, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Andie MacDowell, Elizabeth Olsen, John Travolta, Dwayne Johnson, Ariana DeBose and Jonathan Majors, as well as Andrew Garfield, Florence Pugh, Antonio Banderas, Elizabeth Banks, Jessica Chastain, John Cho, Hugh Grant, Danai Gurira, Salma Hayek Pinault, Nicole Kidman, Sigourney Weaver, Riz Ahmed, Emily Blunt, Glenn Close, Jennifer Connelly, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael B. Jordan, Troy Kotsur, Melissa McCarthy, Janelle Monáe, Deepika Padukone, Questlove, Zoe Saldaña, Donnie Yen.

Good for you, Questlove. Okay, I think we’re all sufficiently backgrounded, let’s get to it.

The Drinking Game

The Basics

Probably you should play with beer, though I would also accept hard seltzer, wine coolers, or wine. Don’t hurt yourself. “A drink,” for our purposes, is a sip, a gulp, a finger’s worth — just be consistent.

Evergreen Rules:

The “Marty” Rule:

One thing entertainment industry folks love is referring to famous people familiarly, to show what good friends they all are. Whenever you hear someone reference a celebrity by their shortened name, a lá “Marty” Scorsese or “Steve” Spielberg during their acceptance speech. Everyone yells “Marty!” like when Norm walks into Cheers and takes one drink.

Band Plays Them Off

This one is pretty self-explanatory, but any time the band starts playing before the acceptance speech is over and the music tries to cut someone off, drink until the recipient starts to leave the stage or until your drink is finished.

(Pro tip: don’t choose a giant-ass stein or other large-sized glass as your vessel for the evening).

Tears In Heaven

Any time an Oscar winner cries during an acceptance speech, waterfall.

The person with the alphabetically-last name in the room starts drinking (it’s your time to shine, Zacks and Zeldas). Everyone else, don’t stop until the person to your left has finished.

So, So Brave

Any time an awards recipient praises the “brave people of” wherever (let the record show Jared Leto was dedicating awards to Ukraine before it was cool), or a performance as being brave, ONE DRINK.

Borat Rule

Any time an acceptance speech-giver mentions or thanks “my wife,” everyone has to yell “MAH WAHFE” like Borat. Last person to say “mah wahfe” has to drink.

New Rules For 2023

The Slap

Obviously, people are going to talk about The Slap. One drink for the first Slap reference (and that includes sly jokes about Chris Rock, Jada, and/or Will Smith), two drinks for the second Slap reference, and so on.

Tom Cruise Saved Movie Theaters

It has become essentially gospel that Tom Cruise saved movie theaters, thanks to Top Gun: Maverick. Everyone in Hollywood loves Tom Cruise while also sort of acknowledging that he’s completely insane. So:

One drink for “Tom Cruise does his own stunts” joke.
Two drinks for “Tom Cruise is short” joke.
Finish your drink for Scientology joke. (If someone brings up Shelly Miscavige again, get out a fresh one and shotgun it).

Weez The Juice

Brendan Fraser is nominated for Best Actor this year, and I get the feeling B-Fraiszh is gonna be the hot reaction shot. The camera loves him. Hell, I had this gif from the Golden Globes saved on my computer for at least 10 years, and that was well before the Brendannaissance.

Brendan Fraser laugh point

So, one drink for every shot of Brendan Fraser in the crowd.

Nicole Kidman’s Weird AMC Ad

Will they parody Nicole Kidman’s weird AMC ad? One drink for a reference, finish your drink for an actual parody.

The Brad Pitt Lighting Round

According to Little Gold Men (via Gawker, RIP), “the mayor of Hollywood” is an official role whereby the mayor sits center stage at all the awards shows, as has been true of Jack Nicholson, Tom Hanks, and Meryl Streep. Gawker pointed out that Brad Pitt seemed to be auditioning for the role at the Golden Globes.

So, every crowd shot of Brad Pitt initiates The Brad Pitt Lightning Round, after which all the other rules count double (two drinks instead of one, and so on) until the next crowd shot of Brad Pitt ends the round.

Phew, that’s probably enough rules for this year.

Vince Mancini is on Twitter. You can read more of his reviews here.

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