45 Seconds or Less: How to Write the Perfect Acceptance Speech

By Hassel Velasco

I proudly accept this award...for those untold millions struggling to empty their Netflix queues.

I moved out to Los Angeles eight months ago.

I’m proud to announce that in this short time span I have accomplished the unthinkable. I have emptied out my Netflix instant queue.

And the crowd goes wild…

Of course, by crowd I’m talking about me and my cat. And to honest, he didn’t exactly go wild. I think he just meowed because he needed to poop. But still!

Now that the whole Netflix thing is out of the way—I had to tell someone, personal accomplishment, I apologize—let’s queue the award show music. With the Academy Awards creeping up on us like Joaquin Phoenix’s creepy mustache in “Her,” I thought it would be as good a time as any to think about my future acceptance speech.

Writing a good acceptance piece has to be one of the hardest things ever. At least it would be for me. Let’s run down an average acceptance speech. So, there are many people to thank and only 45 seconds to do so.

Since we’re not in a rodeo, in order to write the greatest acceptance speech ever, we have to be very careful and narrow down the speech to a comfortable margin while adding a couple of pause-breaks in there—let’s not forget to pause for applause and laughter).

A potential list of people to thank:

  • Wife
  • Kids
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • Random family members you owe money to
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Cast
  • Crew
  • “The Academy” (or other award giving entity)
  • The agent/manager taking the money you owe your random family members
  • Lunch lady (who at one point in middle school said you looked like a heavier and more ethnic Desi Arnaz, forcing you to ask yourself how ethnic that made you)
  • Any other special person in your life whom you couldn’t be here without (bookie, drug dealer)
  • God (or Harvey Weinstein…your choice)

Hmm, once you actually put it in writing, this is a long laundry list you are bound to not remember when your name is called.

So let’s trim the…ahem…ethnic fat:

  • I don’t have kids, so we can cross that one out.
  • Wife? #sadface.
  • Parents? I’m a softie for my parents, so this one is staying on.
  • Siblings and random family members? Nope. I only have 45 seconds, I mean, come on. 
  • Director and producers? I have a better idea, I’ll just say something like, “I’d also like to thank everyone involved with the film, from the director to the grips and PA’s.” That should take care of a lot of people.
  • The Academy of Motion Picture will get a thanks because they did something at some point…I guess.
  • Agents and managers should get a nod, just one though because the second nod is another 10%.
  • Lunch Lady? Fuck her. 
  • God? Technically he could be written in as a producer, but no one likes someone who takes credit for work they didn't do (FYI: the views expressed here are the views of Hassel and in no way the views of Writer’s Bone, but Daniel and Sean are nodding), so I think Harvey Weinstein would be my choice to thank instead of the Big Man.

Phew, I think that makes for a solid acceptance piece. That was a lot to fit into 45 seconds.

Now I just need someone to fund my “Post-Apocalyptic Little House on the Prairie” script (for your consideration…), and I’ll be on my way to the dais!

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