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Almost Reel: The acceptance speech we'd like to hear

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Feb 21, 2002 | 10:32am EST

[On March 24, the night of the Oscars, one brave, disingenuous actor (if there exists such a creature) will have the courage to stand onstage, golden statuette clutched firmly to under-appreciated chest and speak directly from the heart. This is that speech.]

Ladies and gentlemen, members of the totally insane academy:

Where do I start? There have been so many people who haven't helped me over the years. Please forgive me if I fail to mention some of your names tonight when it really counts, as you have failed to mention mine so many times over the years.

I'll start with my agent. What can I say? George, you didn't get me this part and you almost blew the deal. You're fired and can leave the building now. Meet me outside in the alley afterwards, you craven lunatic, and I'll teach you about feeling pain in a role.

Not that it was such a great part, anyway. As we all know, the gentleman it was written for has the acting range of a slug. When he turned it down, I got the part because my agent said that I'd work for a decent cup of coffee.

Sorry, is that too spiteful?

On to my so-called director. Hold your applause. The man never once helped me with a performance. He was too busy worrying about his own...[imitating director] "Tha-at's a wra-ap!" And "Cu-UT! Holy Salami, that was good for me! Rah-ger? Good for you?"

Well, you know what, ladies and gentlemen of the academy? It was never very good for me. Except with Cheryl, the producer of the film. That's right, Cheryl and I go way back. In fact, we had an affair during her second marriage.

But I digress. I'm supposed to be telling you about all the people I don't have to thank. So another big no thank you goes to my manager, Cindy, the first person in the business to tell me that I could never replace Tom Berenger.

And let's not forget my acting coach, always consistent in his belief that I should find another career, not to mention my many foul-weather friends from the rehab center program who secretly want me to fail so I can phone them and talk about my low self-esteem.

Well, I see that Julia Roberts' jaw has just dropped, and I have so many more people I do not wish to thank.

Finally, I would like to not thank my family. Their support throughout the years is like my financial help to them now: nonexistent.

They were never there when I needed them and, of course, they're all here now, freeloading on my fame and fortune. Mom, Dad, Sis, you were always the first to say, "You're right. You can't do it. Why don't you make us all feel comfortable and become an accountant?"

I could go on, but I see that it's time for somebody else to come up here and have their name mangled by some has-been actor who is too vain to wear reading glasses.

Now that I'm at the end of my list, it's time to mention the one person who I can honestly say was there for me whenever it really counted--my barber. Mac, you overcharge and you never once gave me a haircut that was in style or that I liked. But even during the lean years, you kept my photo on the wall, and I remember.

If I've neglected to mention anybody, the omission was purely intentional. Those of you who have slammed a door in my face--you know who you are.

In closing, I'd like to tell all of you that I'll treasure this little guy forever [feeling up the award], but frankly, he's too little, too late. I'm still going to die a bitter, bitter person.

Thank you very little and good night.

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