It began as a seemingly awkward Jack Nicholson introduction of the very long list of nominees, but the Best Picture denouement at a very long Oscars ceremony on Sunday turned into a surprise appearance by Michelle Obama, via satellite from the Governors' Ball in Washington, D.C.—where earlier she had sat next to Chris Christie—to introduce and announce the winner, Argo.
"These nine movies took us back in time and all around the world. They made us laugh, they made us weep, and they made us grip our armrests just a little tighter," Obama said. "They taught us that love can endure against all odds and transform our lives in the most surprising ways, and they reminded us that we can overcome any obstacle if we can dig deep enough and fight hard enough and find the courage to believe in ourselves."
After telling Nicholson to hang on a second, the First Lady was handed an envelope to announce the winner:
Of course, the event provoked strong reactions:
i love how Michelle Obama was all like: oh, sorry, i was, just hangin with some US servicemen, hold on a sec - lemme present at the #oscars— Paula Froelich (@Pfro) February 25, 2013
Daniel Day Lewis’s Michelle Obama is GOOD— Juli Weiner (@juliweiner) February 25, 2013
Having Nicholson introduce Michelle Obama probably spared us from the ultimate McFarlane sexist joke #Oscars— daveweigel (@daveweigel) February 25, 2013
And, of course, it also produced some backlash from some who thought that Obama was doing too many celebrity-laden appearances—this is the same weekend she did the "Evolution of Mom Dancing" with Jimmy Fallon.
Michelle Obama is doing WAY too many cameos. bad memories of nancy reagan on Mr. T's lap— David Plotz (@davidplotz) February 25, 2013
RT @abenedikt: MIchelle Obama jumps the shark.— Slate (@Slate) February 25, 2013
And of course there was the conservative response:
Of course they have to ruin the Oscars with Michelle Obama...— #RepublicanGirlProbs (@RepubGrlProbs) February 25, 2013
And the trending pundit combination therein:
#NextMichelleObamaAppearance She'll be in every movie theater preview telling you to shut your cellphone off & put away the popcorn.— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) February 25, 2013
But maybe the First Lady just doesn't care?
Michelle Obama so over being worried about Republicans and their Hollywood liberal elitist insults— Willa Paskin (@willapaskin) February 25, 2013
Yeah, she was just happy to be there:
Photo by Pete Suoza/White House