Sunday is going to be the biggest day of the year for the entertainment industry, as the 91st Academy Awards are gearing up to take place. We'll get to see whether The Favourite, Roma or (fingers crossed, but probably not) Black Panther takes home the Best Picture award, and pray that Glenn Close is recognized for her stunning performance in The Wife.
But it's also going to be a show viewers won't want to miss, partly because it promises to be something of a hot mess. For starters, after several rounds of will-Kevin-Hart-host-the-Oscars-or-not, the Academy has decided it would conduct this year's awards sans host — which has only happened once before, in 1989.
The Academy also made a laughable attempt to further shorten their show this year. Rather than continuing to rudely play elevator music while stars are up on stage, they toyed with the idea of distributing certain technical prizes — like film editing and cinematography — during the un-televised commercial breaks.
The public wasn't having that nonsense, so the Academy eventually reversed their decision. But the question of how long the Oscars last often depends on the stars who are being honored with their awards. While many choose to be brief with their gratitude, many others launch into nonsensical diatribes that remind us why actors are better off with scripts than they are at extemporaneous speaking.
So, who is the most thanked person at the Oscars? Believe it or not, it's not God.
Often, the reason the Academy Awards drag on forever is that the nominees didn't actually think they'd win (artists are famously insecure, after all) and consequently didn't prepare a speech for their momentous occasion. This usually leaves them to scrambling to thank the first people who come to mind — and back in 2015, Vocativ mined all 1,396 acceptance speeches to reveal who exactly was making the cut.
First, the boring but expected ones. "The Academy" was named in 43 percent of all speeches and "Mom and Dad" are also recognized 28 percent of the time. But when it comes to individuals, Steven Spielberg takes the cake. He has been thanked "an outrageous 42 times from the Oscar podium," per Vocativ, "not only by people who starred in his movies ... but also by those who were simply inspired by him."
In fact, God comes in #6.
Second to Spielberg comes he-who-shall-not-be-named, Harvey Weinstein. Before Harvey became synonymous with everything wrong with the entertainment industry, he produced the Best Picture winner, Shakespeare in Love, as well as several other movies that featured Oscar-winning performances. Something tells us he won't be keeping his rank as second-most thanked for long.
Next is James Cameron, in third place, who'd been thanked a cumulative 28 times when this pseudo study was published back in 2015. George Lucas follows with 23 thank you's, and Peter Jackson comes in fifth place with 22 recognitions from the many people who won Oscars for their work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. With 20 mentions, God comes in the unenviable position of sixth place.
Two women follow on this list. Fran Walsh, who wrote the screenplays for all of the Tolkien adaptations and has won three Oscars herself, has been thanked 18 times. Right behind her, with 17 thanks, is Sheila Nevins, president of HBO Documentary Films. The films she's worked on in her tenure at HBO have won 21 Oscars though, "which makes one wonder who the five a-holes are," as Vocativ rightly points out.
The final slots on the top-10 list include Francis Ford Coppola — who is tied for ninth place with producer Barrie Osborne. Both have received 16 recognitions from the podium. Tenth place goes to Martin Scorsese and Saul Zaentz, who have both garnered praise from award winners 15 times. Saul passed away in January 2014, making him (along with God, we suppose), the only non-living member of this most thanked list.
Whether this honor roll will keep racking in the thanks this Sunday is something viewers will have to see for themselves. Hey, it could make for a fun drinking game.
Don't miss the Oscars when they air on ABC Sunday, February 24, at 8 p.m. EST.