John Travolta’s career post-Battlefield Earth is an atomic wasteland of the crazy, awkward, and bizarre. Last year, he somehow managed to butcher Idina Menzel’s name into “Adele Dazeem” while introducing the singer; this year, there was a fair amount of anticipation as to what Johnny T-Pants would do to make things right with the world.
As it turns out, the answer to that question is: Backslide! First, and in full view of every camera on the red carpet, he kissed Scarlett Johansson on the cheek without being invited to do so. Scar-Jo looked only mildly uncomfortable, because she is a professional actress and is used to public kisses from weirdos. Travolta–which is Italian for “travesty,” apparently–looked delighted to be with everyone else in the fourth dimension, as he always does (and as he always is). So that was a wonderful moment of discomfort before the ceremony even started.
Then, midway through the show, Menzel came out to introduce Travolta so the two of them could present an award together. Menzel got in a couple of good jokes about last year’s mishap, and Travolta kind of took them well? But that was only because he was clearly thinking of how he could make this exchange even less comfy than last year’s. Behold, the result:
If you didn’t cringe while watching that, you have the constitution of a Cormac McCarthy protagonist. After the show, J-Trav went on Jimmy Kimmel’s “After the Oscars” special and said, in lieu of an explanation, “Apparently I played with her chin too much.” Whether or not chin-play is something best done behind closed doors between consenting adults, it appears that Travolta is now officially the rich uncle at the family reunion that no one really wants to talk to but that everyone knows means well. Hopefully.
(Photo credits: WENN; screecap via YouTube)