HomeAmerican EntertainmentKen Jennings Cracks ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Joke After Oscar Crowd Gives Standing Ovation

Ken Jennings Cracks ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ Joke After Oscar Crowd Gives Standing Ovation

by TK Sanders

Jeopardy! co-host Ken Jennings cracked a joke aimed at Top Gun: Maverick after it received a standing ovation at Sunday’s Oscar ceremony. Tom Cruise’s pro-America blockbuster was nominated for best film and another five awards. Ultimately, it only won one Academy Award: for Achievement in Sound.

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Truthfully, the Academy rarely rewards the fan-favorite in their annual quest for immortalizing the best films of the year. But nevertheless, the crowd at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles jumped to its feet when Maverick won its Oscar in the sound category.

Jennings didn’t understand the hoopla, though, and tweeted out a smug observation that lesser-valued Oscars rarely earn much fanfare, especially in the building.

“Is… is that a standing O for the Top Gun: Maverick sound mixers?” the quiz show host joked on Twitter. “You used to have to be, like, Audrey Hepburn.”

Top Gun: Maverick became the highest grossing domestic release of 2022 after producers refused to release it direct to streaming during COVID. It eventually grossed over $1.4 billion worldwide, and many in Hollywood credit the film for re-invigorating the entire industry.

Hollywood heavyweight Stephen Spielberg even publicly praised the film’s efforts to get people back to movie theaters.

“You saved Hollywood’s a** and you might have saved theatrical distribution,” the legendary director told the movie’s star, Tom Cruise, at the Oscar nominees’ luncheon last month. “Seriously, [your film] might have saved the entire theatrical industry.”

Other social media users agreed with Ken Jennings’ Oscar tweet

Other tweeters fell in lockstep with Jennings’ tweet, mocking the standing ovation (and the goodwill expressed by stakeholders like Spielberg) as pure spectacle.

“Ironically, today Audrey Hepburn is considered an average sound mixer at best,” joked one fan.

Another added: “Careful, there KJ…you’re about to ride into the danger zone.”

And Samit Sarkar, managing editor of entertainment news website, Polygoncontinued the riff: “but [Top Gun] SAVED THEATRICAL MOVIES, Ken.”

Despite its monumental commercial success, the Academy chose Everything Everywhere All at Once as its 2022 darling. The Asian-centric comedy received 11 nominations, of which it won seven, including best director and best picture.

Its Malaysian-born star, Michelle Yeoh, made Oscar’s history as the first Asian woman to win the best actress award. Former child actor of Goonies stardom Ke Huy Quan became the first Asian man in 38 years to claim the best supporting actor Oscar.

Also, self-proclaimed nepo-baby Jamie Lee Curtis won her first ever Academy Award as the top supporting actress for her role in Everything Everywhere All at Once. Perhaps as a surprise to Jennings, Everything also received multiple standing ovations as it collected its awards; despite Audrey Hepburn’s absence from its cast.