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June 03, 2007



"Many people believe that the famous incident, in which this naked man ran through the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion past David Niven at the 46th annual Academy Awards, was staged."

But wasn't it true that Niven came up with his "shortcomings" comment (seemingly a brilliant ad-lib) before the ceremony, as he had anticipated there might be an on-air streak?

Listener Kliph

The quickness of Niven's ad lib is what initially made people think this might be a set-up. However, I've always felt it was an obvious comment - one that anybody with a sense of humor and some stage experience could just as easily have quipped. I've never heard that he came up with it in advance - where did you hear that?

Dale Hazelton

No Ray Stevens mp3?

Pretty sad and pointless ending to a life that tried to make a dent in pretense and righteousness.

I remember as a kid Time magazine doing a cover story about streaking, my neighbor had a copy and we would sneak looks at it like it was OUI.....pretty silly. That Christlike LIFE magazine cover is as iconic as the image of the naked napalmed girl running or the South Vietnamese guy getting his head blown off.

An aside, I don't think Mike Douglas (with Soupy Sales?) gets the accolades he deserves, certainly not for being a crooner, but for his choice of guests. He was alot like Sullivan, ignoring his own personal tastes and putting people/acts on who were influential in popular culture. John and Yoko doing cooking segments notwithstanding, he really brought some interesting conversation and viewpoints into American homes. I feel like his death went a bit unnoticed...

Vic Perry

I think lots of journalists dressed that way in the early 70s so it doesn't seem that far-fetched. And no, Niven's comment is neither uncanny nor all that funny. Another informative post, Listener Kliph!


Thanks for your informative post. It inspired me to get off my bum and finally revamp my streaking site

Mark McDermott

Just now caught up to this post, Kliph. My recollection (I would have been 13 at the time) was that streaking was such a prevalent phenomenon in 1974 that there was already much speculation over whether the Oscars would be streaked well before the ceremony. So it's quite likely David Niven and some of the other presenters would have considered the possibility and thought of possible comebacks to use. Veteran stage actors like Niven had surely recovered from worse incidents in a career on the stage.
It's just harder each year for us to imagine the more relaxed security standards for a simple TV show like the Oscars in that era before television as a stage for political extremists.

tim from Radio Clash

is it a 'San Francisco sex shop?' or a 'gallery' - sounded like it was the latter from the text...good article but thumbs down for the tabloid-sounding summary.


Incidentally, the hockey streaker was named Hurlbutt. It doesn't get much better than that.

Listener Kliph

whoops, shoulda re-read my own article i guess.


1. Re your question, early in the piece, about what David Niven is looking at. He's looking at a TV monitor of course. He needs to see what's going on behind him but still keep his face toward the audience so that he can put across that sly, devilish, amused David Niven look that made him so rich and famous, meanwhile reassuring the audience that everything's cool. Most every awards show, talk show, etc., has one or two monitors off to the side. 2. Re Niven's famous comment - I don't find it witty at all. Brevity is the soul of wit and his comment is wordy, it goes on twice as long as it should. Which suggests that the whole event was NOT pre-planned because surely he would have been able to come up with something half-decent if it were. 3. Re the guy in 1962 who said "I am the world's greatest gate-crasher...." - what an idiot! Why didn't he say his name! Here's his chance to put his name in every home in America that was listening on radio or watching on TV or however the ceremony was broadcast in those days and he blows it. And now his name is lost to history. Zero sense of history or public relations.


what ever happened to Maurice Keenan who with two others robbed and killed this guy who was a fag and drug dealer in his art gallery


David Nivien i hate to say was also a little gay with Tony and Robert Wagner and this art dealer was gay too so maybe it was set up

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