If the Marvel cinematic universe has taught us anything, it’s that Stan Lee knows the perfect time to make a cameo. Such was the case this morning when the comic book legend issued a Twitter takedown—both savage and obscure—aimed at last night’s botched Academy Awards ceremony, the conclusion of which saw the wrong film temporarily awarded Best Picture.
— stan lee (@TheRealStanLee) February 27, 2017
Lee’s joke is, of course, aimed at the last-minute Oscars envelope mix-up that saw Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway mistakenly announce the musical “La La Land” as winner of the year’s Best Picture award. This was a problem, of course, because “Moonlight” was the actual winner. Several confused minutes passed before “La La Land” producer Jordan Horowitz was forced to announce the mistake.
The Marvel No-Prize is a tradition that finds its origins all the way back in 1964. Originally handed out by Marvel Comics to readers who mailed the publisher pointing out continuity errors, the prize was a humorous response to the policies of other comic book publishers at the time that offered cash prizes or free comics to readers who successfully identified timeline issues.
Despite the prize’s original context, the present-day connotation is clear; with the Academy still relying on envelopes to deliver results, a No-Prize from Lee should come as no surprise when the containing envelope does not, in fact, contain the right prize.
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