Sunday night’s 85th Academy Awards clocked in at three hours and 35 minutes. While this was hardly the longest single Oscars ceremony — that distinction still belongs to 2002’s epic four-hour and 20-minute telecast, which saw epic Gladiator awarded with Best Picture — the show’s lag was undeniable to anyone hoping for a sprightly Monday morning at work. After all, Sunday’s telecast long surpassed last year’s tight three-hour and nine-minute runtime and 2011’s three-hour and 16-minute showing, officially putting an end to any recent efforts to keep awards shows within a three-hour schedule.
Still, it’s not immediately clear what was responsible for Oscar’s long runtime. While host Seth MacFarlane‘s monologue passed the 15-minute mark, speeches were short and sweet. And there was nary a Lifetime achievement award to occupy the bulk of the ceremony.
So who was the drawing out the 2013 Oscars ceremony? Turns out the biggest culprit of the night wasn’t the Family Guy creator (who appeared to occupy our screens more than Quvenzhané Wallis occupied our hearts). Instead, the night’s presenters accounted for a total of 59 minutes and 10 seconds of the Oscar ceremony, taking up 34 percent of the telecast. (Speeches, on the other hand, took up just 23 percent of the evening, while MacFarlane sat at 22 percent.)
That’s right — we could have enjoyed a much-shorter telecast had the Oscars cut off the banter that curiously remained in the script after Sunday’s show began to run over. In fact, two of the longest presenters of the evening, Jack Nicholson and Michelle Obama — who took three minutes and 49 seconds to present Argo with Best Picture — even closed out the awards. But the Oscar for longest presenters of the evening belongs to the reunited Chicago cast, who, between two categories, spoke at the podium for five minutes and 12 seconds. (The shortest presenters? Melissa McCarthy and Paul Rudd, whose banter was so painful, it felt like it lasted far longer than just 40 seconds.)
How did the rest of the evening’s timing shake out? See some more vital stats below!
MacFarlane’s Total Time on Stage: 38 minutes, 21 seconds
MacFarlane’s Monologue Runtime: 17 minutes, 14 seconds
MarFarlane’s Non-Monologue Banter Runtime: 11 minutes, 7 seconds
Total Runtime — Speeches: 40 minutes
Longest Speech: 4 minutes, 14 seconds (Ben Affleck for Argo, Best Picture)
Shortest Speech: 48 seconds (Jacqueline Durran for Anna Karenina, Costume Design)
Average Length of Speech: 1 minute, 40 seconds
Average Length of Presenter at Podium: 1 minute, 41 seconds
Total Runtime — Montages: 15 minutes, 8 seconds
Total Runtime — Musical Performances at 2012 Oscars: 3 minutes, 42 seconds (Esperanza Spalding’s “In Memoriam” tribute)
Total Runtime — Musical Performances at 2013 Oscars: 21 minutes, 5 seconds
Longest Performance: 3 minutes, 54 seconds (Adele, “Skyfall”)
Shortest Performance: 1 minute, 40 seconds (Norah Jones, “Everybody Needs a Best Friend”)
In Memoriam Runtime: 3 minutes, 21 seconds
Barbra Streisand Performance Runtime: 3 minutes, 23 seconds
Time Oscars Could Have Saved If They Had Combined Both: 3 minutes, 22 seconds
Total Runtime — Bond Tribute: 6 minutes, 7 seconds
Total Runtime — Musicals Tribute: 12 minutes, 7 seconds
Length of 2013 Oscars without Musical Performances: 3 hours, 13 minutes
Length of 2013 Oscars without Montages, Musical Performances, and MacFarlane’s Stage Banter: 2 hours, 37 minutes
Cuts That Would Have Allowed Oscars 2013 to End on Time: 3 minutes from monologue, 30 seconds from each speech and presenter, and 6 seconds from Seth’s non-monologue banter
[Image Credit: Matt Sayles/AP Images]
Oscars 2013 Special Coverage
• Anne Hathaway: Oscar’s Worst Dressed?
• Seth MacFarlane’s Opening: How’d He Do?
• Adele’s Performance Gets Mixed Reviews
• 15 Oscar-Winning Nude Scenes
• What Happened to Renee Zellweger’s Face?
• Oscars 2013: The Full Winners List
• Why Kristen Stewart Was on Crutches
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