Leo’s Won His Oscar, So Who Are We Going To Lol At On The Internet Now?

Leo has FINALLY won an Oscar and err... now what?

Leo's Won His Oscar, So Who Are We Going To Lol At On The Internet Now?

by Bridget Minamore |
Published on

So. It finally happened. Leonardo DiCaprio – the butt of everyone’s internet jokes – finally won his Oscar, with the help of a twice-winning Mexican director, a fake bear, a lot of fake blood and even more (fake?) snow. While the vaguely planned Leicester Square party didn’t get the 30,000 interested people it hoped for (did anyone actually go?), the fan petitions apparently worked and the video game where you can battle to win DiCaprio an Oscar is still available online.

As someone fairly indifferent about Leo’s win on a personal level, the twitter-obsessed, internet-loving part of me is heartbroken. Yes, Leo’s got his golden statue, but what about the jokes? The memes, the tweets, the tumblr threads, all of them making fun of someone who probably had a feeling he was going to win tonight ever since Alejandro G. Inarritu yelled 'action!' and he crawled naked into the carcass of a dead frozen horse.

Of all the silly things that make me laugh online, ‘Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t have an Oscar’ jokes are some of my favourites. The range of them is, at times, overwhelming. There are the mock-ups of DiCaprioacting desperate for an Oscar, and the close-ups of his seemingly grief-stricken sad face at various award ceremonies when he misses out. There are the constant one-line references to random people who have won Oscars (Eminem, Three Six Mafia) alongside pointing out people who don’t have them (Leo, you, me). We’ve got the ironic jokes, the random jokes, and the gag that tied in the Ukrainian revolution with Leo’s 2014 Oscar loss was part wit and observation, part pure luck. The memes stay current, too; an Adele/Leo crossover I saw recently has become a new favourite, while Oscar Isaac aka The Internet’s New Boyfriend brought us to peak visual gag at the Golden Globes a few weeks ago. Horoscope gagsare probably my favourite genre, if only for their simplicity; Leo the name is like Leo the starsignis enough to make me – and seemingly half the internet – go into minor hysterics. But why does the joke work so well, and how has it lasted so long?

The Leonardo DiCaprio/Oscar jokes that we’ve been flooded with over the past few years work because they’re just so simple. A solidly A-list celebrity that we’ve essentially grown up with, a shady but non-specific villain in the Academy voters, and an ultimately easy to understand but enticing premise. Like all good stories in cinema, this joke’s protagonist has a core motivation – Leonardo DiCaprio wants an Oscar, and he hasn’t got one yet. We’ve all wanted something we can’t have, and here’s one of the biggest stars in the world wanting something he can’t have too. The best part of the joke, and the thing that I feel has kept it at fever pitch for so long, is that a part of us always knew Leonardo was going to win eventually. Unlike Peter O’Toole who was still losing out on Oscars in his 70s, Leo is relatively young and has steadily acted in critically acclaimed films for years. DiCaprio is never going to win, I’d tweet, but I was always shocked when he lost.

Over the past few weeks, the discussions around the #OscarsSoWhite controversy about the lack of diversity amongst the nominees had reached a fever pitch. We had gaffes from big (white) names, boycotts from big (black) names, and an eventual ceremony filled to brim with race jokes from host Chris Rock and helpers including Whoopi Goldberg and Stacey Dash. However unlike jokes about institutional racism or the politics of letting abusers win awards, Leo Wants An Oscar is also, fundamentally, not that deep. DiCaprio, with his model girlfriends and luxury holidays, has never (publicly) seemed that fussed by the weight of memes that rained down upon his head – although in Hollywood circles it seems that his yearning to win was a lot more obvious. The audience may have mocked DiCaprio but the joke was never fully on him, and a significant number of meme-sharers and retweeters were fans who were still on his side.

With all the fuss around it, it’s easy to forget the gag is a relatively new one. For a long time, it was DiCaprio’s Titanic co-star Kate Winslet who was the butt of everyone’s award jokes. Before ‘Leo wants an Oscar’ was ‘where’s Kate’s – it was Winslet who the newspapers pointed out was on a ‘13-year losing streak’, and Winslet who was the first punchline in 2009 Golden Globe host Ricky Gervais’ opening monologue. He referenced her 2005 cameo as an award-hungry parody of herself in Gervais’ show Extras, and as the room laughed along with her, DiCaprio and his own lack of an Oscar wasn’t even mentioned. But that year was Kate’s year, and at some point between that and DiCaprio’s nomination for The Wolf of Wall Street in 2014, the gag that spawned a thousand memes was born. Suddenly, the joke was everywhere, and the brave new world of tumblr and twitter meant it quickly gained traction. By the end of the 2014 ceremony the joke felt solid, and I for one am sad it’s time for it to come to an end.

On the bright side, the new ‘Leo’s finally won an Oscar!’ jokes promise to ensure we’re going out with a bang. It also begs the question – who’s going to be our next collective unlucky loser? My money’s on ex-teen heartthrobs Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp who are on three Oscar nominations each. Saying that, actress Amy Adams has managed to get to five without either a win or a meme to her name – maybe next year will be her time? I can only hope. For now though, I’m mourning the meme and wondering if there’s a part of Leonardo DiCaprio himself that will be too.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

Oscars 2016: 10 Moments You Need To Know About From This Years Oscar's

All The Stuff In This Years $200K Oscar Goody Bags

Leonardo Di Caprio Outbids Paris Hilton For A Chanel Handbag For His Mum

Follow Bridget on Twitter: @bridgetminamore

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us