Sure the Academy Awards are fun to watch. But many of the night’s memories occur on the red carpet, before the ceremony even begins.
Shocking dresses, live interviews, and oddball celebrities make great water-cooler discussion the next morning.
Here are five of the craziest red-carpet moments from 85 years of Oscar history.
Lizzy Gardiner – Golden Girl
Costume designer Lizzy Gardiner took the American Express tagline “Don’t Leave Home Without It” literally when she arrived at the Oscars in 1995 wearing a gown made from 250 gold cards.
“I’m broke, and I didn’t have anything to wear,” Gardiner said of her creation.
Time magazine wasn’t sympathetic and dubbed the frock one of the worst in Oscar history.
Maybe next time Gardiner could wear a dress made from the latest digital currency. And exit the limousine wearing nothing but bitcoins.
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Dictator
Sacha Baron Cohen, dressed as his character from “The Dictator,” surprised red carpet host Ryan Seacrest in 2012.
The British comedian produced a gold urn, proclaiming it contained the ashes of late North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il.
“It was his dream to come to the Oscars and to be sprinkled over the red carpet,” he said. And then dumped white powder on Seacrest.
The unsuspecting host appeared perturbed, possibly worried about his tuxedo deposit.
Bjork – Swan Song
Icelandic singer Bjork walked the red carpet in 2001 wearing a swan dress so unique it became a part of pop culture.
Rising from the feathery body, the neck of the swan encircled the singer’s head. Its beak, oblivious to the commotion, rested comfortably on the pop star’s chest.
For added effect, Bjork dropped ostrich eggs as she walked the red carpet.
How popular did the gown become?
I’m wearing one right now.
South Park Drag
In 2000, South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone turned heads on the Oscar red carpet by dressing in drag.
Stone wore a pink gown similar to one previously donned by Gwyneth Paltrow. While Parker opted for a low-cut, green Versace number that Jennifer Lopez made famous.
Nominated for an original song, the two may have thought this was their one-and-only chance to rock and shock Academy Award viewers.
They haven’t been nominated since.
Viewers may have believed Celine Dion dressed for the 1999 Academy Awards in the dark, as she stepped on the red carpet with her tuxedo jacket on backwards.
They would have been wrong.
The designer of the white suit purposely had the front in the back. And the back in the front.
Even though the dress was widely panned, it appealed to my sense of style, as I often wear my clothes inside out and reverse.
So there you have it, a few outrageous moments from Hollywood’s biggest night.
And as the Academy Awards roll around, fasten your seatbelt. Another bumpy night on the red carpet may be just around the corner.