February 20th, 2009
03:12 PM ET

It is most definitely not an honor just to be nominated

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/SHOWBIZ/Movies/02/19/pre.oscar.roundup/art.reader.weinstein.jpg caption="Kate Winslet, who's up for "The Reader," has been nominated six times and never won. "]

Jack Gray
AC360° Associate Producer

This is a bittersweet time of year for me.  I enjoy watching the Academy Awards but I miss my days in the movie industry.  I know what you’re thinking:  he was just in it for the glamour.  But you’re wrong.  I was born with a dream.  A dream to work in a video store/tanning parlor.

But, that was 10 years and 1000 tubs of cocoa butter ago. And while, once again, I wasn’t nominated for anything this year, I do have a speech prepared just in case there’s a write-in campaign to honor my cameo as Benjamin Button’s uncle, Larry Button.

Here goes nothing:

“Thank you so much, thank you. First, I would like to acknowledge the cast and crew of Slumdog Millionaire.  I think I speak for moviegoers everywhere when I say, 'The world is tired of you, now sit down.’

I must also say it’s an honor to be in the same room as the lovely and talented Kate Winslet.  You were brilliant in Revolutionary Road and The Reader, but it was your dance number in that latest Rambo movie that made me remember why I got into this business in the first place.

Angelina and Brad, it’s wonderful to see you here tonight.  I was worried you might not be able to find a babysitter to watch the octuplets.

Hats off to Ashton Kutcher.  When you first told me you wanted to turn Macbeth into a surfing movie, I was skeptical.  But your decision to cast Florence Henderson in the lead was inspired.

Thank you to Christian Bale, for teaching me how to tap into my sensitive side.

Congratulations to my colleague Joaquin Phoenix for his win tonight for Best Supporting Beard.

And, of course, I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank the two most important people in my life, Mickey Rourke and Whitney Houston.  I’d still be in that Wendy’s dumpster if it wasn’t for the two of you.

I see Meryl Streep here in the audience tonight.  Let me say that you’re even more stunning in person.  And let me also say, stick with it, you’ll eventually get the hang of this acting thing.

And finally, to my mentor Anderson Cooper, thanks for your support.  You’ll never know how much your words of encouragement – ‘fine, do whatever you want, just get the hell out of my office’ – meant to me.”

So, there you have it.  My speech is ready, just in case I win or have to accept on behalf of that dog from Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Win or lose, though, I’ll be live-blogging the awards beginning at 8:00pm Eastern Time Sunday night right here on AC360.com.  If you want to get an idea of what it’ll be like check out our Golden Globes Live Blog.

In the meantime, enjoy your weekend.  And remember:  nothing goes together better than a trip to the video store and 20 minutes in a tanning bed.


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Filed under: 360° Radar • Academy Awards • Jack Gray
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Lilibeth

    Hi Jack, long time, no blog. I've been out of the country and didn't bring my computer. I'm back now and just catching up. I'm still fighting jet lag and adjusting to the U.S. West Coast time zone (I was in France), but it's great to be back. Looking forward to watching the Oscars, one of my favorite things to do. I really like Slumdog for Best Picture. Here's hoping the speeches will be as witty and uproarious as yours. Take care,

    Edmonds, Washington

    February 22, 2009 at 6:05 am |
  2. Alex (Aliso Viejo)

    Funny! 🙂 I do not normally watch movie/TV awards night. BUT, I suppose, there is always a first time for everything. Besides, who can ignore a nude and drunk Hugh Jackman and Jack Gray on the side, right??

    February 21, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  3. survivingtimes

    I like Slumdog Millionaire until they started the Thriller dance number at the end. It destroyed the movie.

    When are you going to write a book?

    February 20, 2009 at 9:01 pm |
  4. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    ha! tammy in berwick,

    the best blogs are born of days of mardi gras celebrations! lol

    February 20, 2009 at 8:47 pm |
  5. Michelle , Fonthill, Ontario

    I love your so called oscar speech if only it could be! Anderson really has a pet peeve about you rumaging through his office ha ha
    Thanks for doing this blog Jack I 'll sure to join you on Sunday is Anderson going to the oscar parties he doesn't even loke parties give us the scoop on Coop!
    You have a great weekend see you on the flipside Jack.

    February 20, 2009 at 8:43 pm |
  6. Don, WA

    Longboarding with Shakespeare...I think Ashton Kutcher is on to something.
    Now I'm off to see if the latest Rambo movie is at the video store.

    February 20, 2009 at 8:19 pm |
  7. Miranda

    Mr. Gray-

    I hope you win and hey maybe Anderson can do a little awards show for you staffers where you drum up your own support and we vote on you and you get a snazzy little trophy if he can afford it you know that would be so cool.I think I'm in love...Oh man... humor wise you rival me its hysterical.


    February 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  8. Tammy, Berwick, LA

    How funny! My best mentors were actually the ones who gave advice like Anderson's. Does he get any part of the Oscar goody bag for being such an inspiration to you?

    I'm definitely more of a Sundance sort of girl. Oscar is too mainstream for me a lot of the time This year there is a good mix nominated, but still most weren't edgy enough for my tastes, Except for Heath Ledger's role. That was edgy enough. For anyone.

    Enjoy Oscar. I'd live blog, but after two days of Party Gras and two more to go, I'd be afraid to live blog with anyone.

    February 20, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  9. Bonnie

    I heard on the radio today that the pre-Oscar show to watch is Lisa Renna –it sounds like she's a train wreck. Can't wait. Hey Jack, is Anderson staying in LA for the Oscars? Maybe he could blog and give us the real scoop! Better yet–why didn't they fly you out there for the big event. Next year for sure!!

    February 20, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  10. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Hellooo Jack!!!
    That is so funny joke, I am laughing now when I read your comment!!!! That is good idea to say And finally, to my mentor Anderson Cooper, thanks for your support. You’ll never know how much your words of encouragement – ‘fine, do whatever you want, just get the hell out of my office’ – meant to me.” That is good speech!!!! LOL!!! Oh Jack I wish I want to say thank you for oscar award, I like to my friends bloggers to share our blog, I never forget my life, I am thankful to be here this time, That's my speech award. Yes! I am ready go join your live blog on Sunday night, I can't wait forward see Oscar award!
    I hope we will see who win the Oscars! Jack, I will see you Sunday night live blog! Bye Jack,
    Have great night and sleep tight....... Have a great weekend!

    ( Pati,
    My apology, I will drop your name. Thanks for telling me that warning! and I made mistake, OOPS!)

    February 20, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  11. Joe G. (From Illinois)

    With all the girls and or ladies in the world, people put those like Angelina and Aniston on pedestals.. What kind of example is that? With all them babies and young girls out there, it kind of makes me revolt. But that’s my opinion.

    February 20, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  12. Mark

    Hilarious as always. I thought I was the only one who paid his way through public high school working in a video store/tanning salon. My primary responsibilities there were cleaning the tanning beds and not embarrassing those customers who availed themselves of the "adult" selections. I consistently failed at both tasks. I'm guessing your experience was similar. Be well!

    February 20, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  13. Annie Kate

    Hey Jack

    If you aren't nominated for a category then someone must have tampered with the envelopes.....you should be a shoe-in for at least 1 award if not more. Maybe Sammie ate it because she doesn't want to share the limelight much less not be in it when you are. You can say for a year now that you lost out on an Oscar because your dog ate your winning envelope.

    If Joaquin Phoenix is there I wonder if he will talk – he sure didn't on Letterman the other night. That beard though was something else – he looked like one of my mother's cleaning brushes (and I say that with love and concern).

    I'm hoping Kate Winslet wins at least 1 Oscar – she is consistently good in her roles and I enjoy watching her work. Of course, now that I have said that she probably won't win – my endorsement of someone for an Oscar has always seemed to be the kiss of death to their chances.

    Happy blogging and don't get the cocoa butter mixed up with your popcorn butter!!

    February 20, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  14. xtina, chicago IL

    Still laughing at your post ! 🙂

    February 20, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  15. vanessa, TX

    hey Jack...once again too funny..i luv it! I'm glad you didn't neglect to mention your boss....its funny because the "I don't care what you do just get out of my office" phrase works for everyone...

    I'm also glad you mention the Brangelina bunch..no matter what you do in life you should always thank them....they are just to pretty to neglect...
    its funny because I, too, would still be working @ Wendys if it wasnt for Mickey Rourke..

    but jack, you should also thank your bloggers, because w/ out us you would be "Just Jack" *spirit fingers* lol

    BTW jack you still need to share your AWESOME ringtone w/ us.....SHARE! luv ya lots and can't wait for live sunday blog i need to make some money... 😉

    February 20, 2009 at 3:02 pm |
  16. Rikki, Fargo, ND

    Very inspired speech Jack! I'll be routing for you...and I'm sure Anderson meant his words of inspiration with all the love in the world! Can't wait to blog on Sunday! It'll be a hoot! Have a great weekend!...and it was so fun to have you on the webcast last night but you must tell me where you got that ringtone!

    February 20, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  17. Michelle Johnson, Lomita, CA

    Hi Jack! Your post had me laughing out loud, and I'm at work! Your blogs are so funny; they always cheer me up. You're the winner for best blogger and all-round hard-working guy! So happy you are feeling better after the hard days last week. You're great–I bet Anderson knows it–we all love him, too! Happy blogging on Oscar night; have fun. Kiss and hug for you! XO

    February 20, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  18. Suzy - Edmonton, AB

    I wish everyone had acceptance speeches like yours! 🙂

    February 20, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  19. Andrea H Macedon NY

    Wonderful as always....dont forget to get Sammy some goodies for the evening maybe she could invite a few friends over to hear your GREAT acceptance speech, (that she didnt get mentioned in) i can sneak in and take care of the music for your speech so that you dont get cut off till you have said everything you wanted (but if security comes im outta there) have a great weekend be sure to relax a bit before the big event....

    February 20, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  20. Ashley - Hamlin, NY

    We love you Jack, we really love you!

    I would pretty much nominate you for everything if I were a judge...but I'm not allowed within 500 ft of Hugh Jackman. Bummer.

    February 20, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  21. Isabel Abreu, Brazil

    Hi, Jack!
    A great afternoon for you!

    Wonderful your speech! I loved!

    I also have to thank Anderson Cooper for putting you in the lives of bloggers!
    Man, you is pure adrenaline, and a score of zero to ten, you're eleven!
    Thanks Mr. Cooper!

    But returning to the subject films.
    His speech made me remember the movie High Fidelity with John Cusack, and there was general laughter because he hadn't a video store, but a store that only sold records on vinyl. Now I'm hearing: so new and so sclerosis! Lol!

    For me, "Revolutionary Road" was a grateful surprise, despite the criticism. I thought a movie with solid interpretations of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet (I admit that Leo DiCaprio surprised me very positively) and a film technically well done.

    Until Sunday, Jack!
    I anxiously await!

    February 20, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  22. Brandi - bottom of the boot

    hello love!

    this one is priceless. i had a mental image of you on the stage delivering this speech as i read it! but the best part was imagining the look on all those faces in the audience. rofl

    lots of love to you and dear old sammy.

    February 20, 2009 at 12:53 pm |
  23. Pati Mc

    Hi Jack,

    Dude, that was so good I am tempted to have it framed in a gilt frame and hung in a place of honor on my living room wall. I will need a portrait of you with your Oscar to hang next to it. Work on that, please?

    Nice of you to give Anderson perks. Now wipe your prints off his computer so that he doea not find you out. Take your gossip mags with you too. I know that you are busy reading so that you have more ammunition for the Oscar blog Sunday. Hey, it's what I would do!

    See ya then! I am about to venture out for the first time in a week. I need some fresh air. Hope it does not kill me.

    Love ya man,

    February 20, 2009 at 12:13 pm |
  24. Kristen- University Park, PA

    Looking forward to Sunday Jack.

    Funny as always but the music would sure drown you out half way into that, maybe you need to move the Anderson shout up near the top and how about adding a shout out for us 360 bloggers? 🙂

    February 20, 2009 at 11:49 am |
  25. Maria

    Happy morning Jack,

    Great post, I love Meryl Streep, have you ever get chance to hear here Italian accent?

    Please make sure to make a trip to AC office and check the dress code for the event, he is a great mentor.

    Have a lovely weekend.

    February 20, 2009 at 11:41 am |
  26. EJ (USA)

    And finally, to my mentor Anderson Cooper, thanks for your support. You’ll never know how much your words of encouragement – ‘fine, do whatever you want, just get the hell out of my office’ – meant to me.”

    ha ha ha – love it. Nice speech!

    February 20, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  27. Carol B.

    Hi hunny bunny! We're all rooting for you. Yep! None of that fake Oscar humility for you!!! Just remember to sing the song on key : "Nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah nah, hey, hey, hey, goodbye!" Although we're not sure what you're winning- hey, you deserve it none-the- less! Best wishes to your mentor, too 🙂

    February 20, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  28. Cindy

    Once again you are just too funny and can I say getting a little too big for your own britches! LOL

    Now come on Jack you know working in that tanning salon with all of those stars would really be a headache! I mean can you imagine the whining and fussing all day and that'd be just from you for having to clean up after those high and mighty folk.

    But UMM Jack...can ya tell us about Cooper's tanning days and what it entails!? Hey..we saw the one shot of it but come on Jack...we know he secretly dons those old man shorts and delves into the fake tans. UMM..he just uses the extra light kind ya know cause he doesn't want it to be that noticeable! So Jack...do dish!! We know you've got stories! LOL

    And if they don't pick you as winner for best blogger of the year then hey..they are as crazy as they look on that TV or movie screen! You know you are the bomb!!


    February 20, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  29. Helen, Reading, UK

    Good afternoon Jack! Am I first on today? I'm sitting here at work, bored out of my tiny mind, counting the minutes till 5.30 when I can escape. All my colleagues just gave me a strange look as I laughed out loud whilst reading today's blog! Darn it, some customer just rang me then and I lost my train of thought.. Oh yeah, the cocoa butter! What with that and the leather pants from yesterday, I'm getting a whole lot of mental images that no amount of alcohol is gonna shift, so thanks! Hope you have a wonderful weekend, lots of love and tail wags as always to you, Sammy, Coop, Erica and all the Gray Groupies x x x

    February 20, 2009 at 10:35 am |
  30. Presley

    Bravo BRAVO! *applauding, standing ovation*
    You should also thank Frank Langella for a great debut on film, he is surely a rising star in Hollyweird, no one knows him now but his day is coming.

    My winner wish list:
    Frank Langella – Best Actor
    Kate Winslet – Best Actress
    Frost/Nixon – Best Picture
    Methinks I will be one for three.

    I am a dork for award shows and red carpet coverage, I only hope and pray E! has another candid and memorable Brangelina moment.
    Your bff, Ryan youknowwho, is practicing following them around and begging for forgiveness.
    A side note, Happy Birthday to your mentor's Mom, Gloria Vanderbilt.
    XXO ♥

    February 20, 2009 at 10:33 am |
  31. Pamina

    Hi Jack,
    Looking forward to Sunday with you. You'll have to share your thoughts on who will win vs. who should actually win!
    Take care and have a good Friday.

    February 20, 2009 at 10:27 am |
  32. mshamburge

    Will you be dressing up for the live blog? I think you should at least wear a tuxedo T-shirt.

    I, too, have already decided upon my acceptance speech should I ever win an Oscar. I'm aiming for the shortest speech ever: "Thank You."

    February 20, 2009 at 10:23 am |