Pull your car into the first drive-through Oscars. Honk! Honk!

Illo for Chris Erskine story about the first drive-thru Oscars
(Nick Lu / For The Times)

Before I propose a drive-through Oscars, before you get your man-thong in a bundle over how inappropriate that would seem, and how the Academy Awards ceremony requires class and a stuffy dignity that really turns off the younger viewers, I’ll remind you that Björk once dropped an egg on the red carpet, and in 1974 a dude wearing nothing but a mustache streaked right across the world’s grandest stage.

Dignity? What dignity? For the love of gawd, we’ve seen Rob Lowe sing with Snow White. We’ve watched John Travolta’s brain freeze up as he breathlessly introduced “Adele Dazeeeeeeeeeem!!!!” We’ve witnessed Jennifer Lawrence fall over on her terrific chin — twice.

By comparison, a drive-through ceremony wouldn’t be the worst Oscars moment. The cheesiest, perhaps. The most-memorable? Certainly. Never forget, making your mark in Tinseltown always requires a little sliver of your soul.


As it is, Ted Danson already does a weekly sitcom (possibly a documentary) that mocks Los Angeles and its leadership. I bristle at that, this idea that our leaders are lacking, or that the rest of the nation finds us a little foolish.

I don’t find us one bit foolish. Not Hollywood Boulevard. Not nude yoga. Not those surfing goats.

So don’t eat my energy, OK? Just pull up to the drive-through Oscars ceremony at Dodger Stadium. We’ve saved a spot for you right over here. No, there, you idiot. OK, fine, wherever you want, Mr. Mayor.

Please note that it once took me three years to get home from a Dodgers game, but in recent years, with all the changes they’ve implemented, they’ve cut that down to two years to get home from a Dodgers game, a whopping 33% improvement (if my abacus is correct).

Hence, this ceremony will literally last for weeks — always does. What you won’t have this year are complaints from skinny actresses about how famished they were during the traditional three-hour ceremony. As if they eat anyway.

As part of the drive-through process, Krispy Kreme doughnuts will be available, and to attract the really big stars, we’ll offer free Botox injections and In-N-Out burgers. Not the burgers themselves. Just injections. Much faster.


We’ll also offer COVID vaccinations, of course. Think of the photos the next day: Cameron Diaz wincing and Joaquin Phoenix curling up into a little ball of yarn.

Obviously, a drive-through Oscars would be a 12-ring Circus of the Cars. Cheech and Chong would pull in, driving their smoky Impala. Donald Sutherland would show up atop an Army tank (a “Kelly’s Heroes” ref, in case you young-’uns are wondering).

“Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here?”

And beautiful it will be. Lots of car gags, obviously — the Batmobile, the Mustang GT from Bullitt, the Porsche 911 Turbo 3.6 from “Bad Boys.”

Mike Myers could drive up in the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile. It would be “an hommage,” as film school types like to say. An hommage to love, of course. And teen coming-of-age movies.

I’d open with a copter shot of a dance number at the Hollywood sign, then follow a slow-speed chase through the hills with Bill Murray driving that little red Alfa Romeo from “On the Rocks.” Up over the hill he’d come, his costar Rashida Jones getting out to push him that last 100 yards.

There’d be a drive-in big screen, of course, showing clips from this year’s major movies, and the dark and joyless little films that Hollywood seems taken with lately. What the hey, show those too. Show TikTok clips, for all I care. Show footage from the little bar mitzvah I held for myself last Tuesday.


To hammer home the SoCal vibe, Sarah Jessica Parker would show up on skates to deliver Dodger Dogs and garlic fries. If you win an Oscar, car hops will skate over with your statue, which would have a suction cup. Winners could lick that and attach it to the hood of their cars.

And you thought this wouldn’t be classy?

Honk, honk, honk …

Ultimately, it would be an hommage to Los Angeles, which could use a little boost right now. In fact, I was writing in my anxiety journal the other day just how worried I was for my beloved city.

Los Angeles is so freaked out by this year-long panny. Residents seem to have lost their ‘tudes, their tans, their swagger. Worst of all — their trademark innocence.

Hey, if Harlem can have a renaissance, why not Los Angeles?

I really believe we’re poised for greatness; it lies just over the next fault line, across from the massage parlor and catty-corner to Miley Cyrus Middle School.

Greatness is ours, if we’re willing to stomp the gas.

Aren’t we always?

Erskine is a former Times columnist with a deep understanding of everything. Follow him at