This is short, but then that's all it took. Or as the joke might go, that's all it was.
Once upon a time, back in the land of 1974, there were sentient human beings who thought it was the height of hip -- or perhaps the last vestiges of counter-culture to run around in public naked. Streaking was a bizarre vogue, though often it was done in groups, which tended to preserve a sense of anonymity.
The Oscar ceremony and alone is not anonymous. But for future generations, they should be thankful that when the almost-inevitable occurred, it did so with David Niven -- the epitome of suave urbanity -- out front. Niven got much praise for his calm and extremely witty comeback. And it became one of the famous moments in Oscar history. With a lot of laughs all round. In retrospect, I have to wonder how much it was anticipated. After all, as Niven himself says, "It was bound to happen." So, it seems likely that presenters were prepared for something. And likely therefore, too, that a line was written, just in case. Maybe not. But it does seem reasonable. Still, to be able to handle the moment well and deliver your line with aplomb, even if anticipated, is the skill of someone who is the epitome of suave urbanity.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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