The First Actor To Accept A Razzie Award In Person Was?
Answer: Tom Green
The Golden Raspberry Awards, typically just called the Razzie Awards, are mock awards that mirror the Oscars. Where an Oscar award is a recognition of the best in Hollywood, the Razzies are awarded for cinematic failures: worst acting, worst direction, and so on. The awards began as a joke in John J. B. Wilson’s living room during a 1981 Oscar viewing party where Wilson gave an impromptu presentation asking his friends to award the worst films of the season. The next year, he formalized the event and the press even covered it. From then on, it became an annual event run in tandem with the actual Oscars.
For the first few years, people in Hollywood may have joked about the Razzies, but nobody formally acknowledged them. In 1988, Bill Cosby became the first actor to actually accept his Razzies (Worst Picture, Worst Actor, and Worst Screenplay, for the 1987 film Leonard Part 6). He didn’t accept them in person, however, but he told his publicist to make sure he got the actual awards and that they had better be proper Golden Raspberry Awards as the name implied. The whole thing turned into a big joke and ultimately on Fox’s The Late Show, Cosby was presented with a trio of 24-carat gold and Italian marble awards paid for by Fox (costing almost $30,000 at the time). While Cosby might have been the first actor to acknowledge getting the awards, he wasn’t, however, the first actor to show up and accept an award at the ceremony.
That distinction belongs to comedian and actor Tom Green. In 2002, Green won Worst Actor, Worst Director, Worst Picture, Worst Screen Couple, and Worst Screenplay for his irreverent oddball 2001 film Freddy Got Fingered. In true Tom Green fashion, he showed up at the event, rolled out his own red carpet, gave a small speech announcing, “I’d just like to say to all the other nominees in the audience, I don’t think that I deserve it any more than the rest of you. I’d like to say that. I don’t think that it would be true, though.” before pulling out a harmonica. Green played the harmonica loudly and obnoxiously until, as seen in the photo here, he was literally dragged off the stage.
Since Mr. Green’s self-red-carpet-rollout, others (actors and non-actors) have accepted their awards in person including Halle Berry (Worst Actress for her role in Catwoman), Sandra Bullock (Worst Actress and Worst Screen Couple for her role in All About Steve), and J. David Shapiro (Worst Picture of the Decade for Battlefield Earth).
Bonus Trivia: The first non-actor to accept Razzie Awards in person was Paul Verhoeven in 1996 for Worst Picture and Worst Director for the 1995 film Showgirls.
Image courtesy of the Golden Raspberry Awards.