Who founded The Razzies?

13 Mar

I write about movies a lot. Mainly because I’ve seen so many of them. And in typical form, I did write a piece on the Oscars when the awards show rolled around because hey, it’s like the mothership of star and frock spotting.

But good movies weren’t on my mind today, it was bad ones. More specifically those starring Eddie Murphy. And it’s all because news.com.au mentioned them.

I’m sure you can understand how impossible it was to resist a headline that screamed “Eddie Murphy stars in The Worst Movie Ever Made.” I mean, that’s a big call to make if you’ve ever sat through Vanilla Sky or two hours of my life I’m NEVER getting back The Whole Ten Yards. But apparently the critics have voted, as his latest movie, A Thousand Words, has scored an almost unheard of zero percent rating on movie website Rotten Tomatoes.

The story then went on to list the actor’s many disasters, including The Adventures of Pluto Nash, which holds court as one of the most expensive flops in Hollywood history. It wasn’t kind and it did overlook a few gems such as Bowfinger. But Eddie does have the Razzies to deserve such a dumping, including last year’s Worst Actor of the Decade and a trifecta of Worst Actor, Worst Supporting Actor and Worst Supporting Actress for Norbit.

But what are The Razzies I may hear you ask?

Well, for those who don’t know, the awards, handed out by the Golden Raspberry Foundation, are basically the anti Oscars, recognising the worst in the previous year’s movie making. It rarely draws the same star power – although Sandra Bullock (All About Steve) and Halle Berry (Catwoman) did pick up their Worst Actress awards in person – and it’s little wonder, given how much s**** it gives Hollywood A listers.

Adam Sandler, for example, has secured a record 11 nominations in this year’s awards, which appropriately enough will be announced on April 1. And this stat inspired me to find out how the awards got started. For once, Wikipedia seemed right on the money. Here’s their take on it…

“American copywriter and publicist John JB Wilson traditionally held potluck dinner parties at his house in Los Angeles on the night of the Academy Awards. In 1981, after the 53rd Academy Awards had completed for the evening, Wilson invited friends to give random award presentations in his living room. Wilson decided to formalise the event after watching a double feature of Can’t Stop the Music and Xanadu. He gave them ballots to vote on worst in film. Wilson stood at a podium made of cardboard in a tacky tuxedo, with a foam ball attached to a broomstick as a fake microphone, and announced Can’t Stop the Music as the first Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture. The impromptu ceremony was a success and the following week a press release about his event released by Wilson was picked up by a few local newspapers, including a mention in the Los Angeles Daily News with the headline: “Take These Envelopes, Please”.

From those humble beginnings, the Razzies have grown to become big news worldwide, and are even televised these days. And the one bright spot for nominees is they don’ t have to perfect their gracious loser smiles.

Funny fact: In the Worst Actress category, two of this year’s five nominees are men – Martin Lawrence as Momma in Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son; and Adam Sandler as Jill in Jack & Jill. The others include Sarah Palin as Herself in Sarah Palin: The Undefeated.

You can read the full list of nominations here and check out The Razzies YouTube channel here.

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