Jack Oakie Lecture on Comedy in Film

Larry Gelbert, Judd Apatow and James L. Brooks

The Jack Oakie Lecture was established in 1981 to honor achievement in the writing, directing and performing of motion picture comedy. Writer Larry Gelbart spoke at the inaugural presentation on November 12, 1981 (the anniversary of Oakie’s birth) with Hal Kanter as host and Charles “Buddy” Rogers and Lynn Redgrave participating in the program.

The lecture was named in honor of Jack Oakie, who then-Academy Executive Director James M. Roberts called “a master of comic timing and a beloved figure in the industry.”

More About Jack Oakie

Jack Oakie came to Hollywood in 1927. His career by that time already included vaudeville, Broadway musicals and appearances in New York films. In Hollywood, he made 87 pictures, most of them comedies or musical comedies, over which period he perfected his trademark comic triple-take. He appeared in such films as “Once in a Lifetime,” “Million Dollar Legs” and “It Happened Tomorrow.” Oakie received an Academy Award nomination in the supporting role category for his satirical portrait of a Mussolini-like head of state in 1940’s “The Great Dictator.”

The Oakie lectures have been funded by grants to the Academy Foundation from Oakie’s widow, actress Victoria Horne. Jack Oakie died in 1978.

Jack Oakie Lectures

  • "Limelight,"2012
    With Claire Bloom and Norman Lloyd; hosted by Randy Haberkamp and Jeffrey Vance
  • Pierre Étaix: The Laughter Returns, 2011
    With Pierre Étaix, hosted by Leonard Maltin and Geneviève Bujold
  • An Evening With Blake Edwards, 2010
    Interview conducted by Walter Mirisch
  • Three Masters of Comedy, 2007
    With Judd Apatow, James L. Brooks and Larry Gelbart
  • Spotlighting W.C. Fields, 2007
    With Joe Adamson, Jean Rouverol Butler, Ronald Fields, Hal Kanter, Delmar Watson and Jane Withers, hosted by Leonard Maltin
  • Homage to Max Linder, 2005
  • Paul Weitz and Chris Weitz, 2003
  • Stephen Silverman, 1999
  • Hal Kanter, 1998
  • Jim Abrahams, 1997
  • Harold Ramis, 1994
  • Leonard Maltin, 1992
  • Harry Shearer, 1989
  • Paul Mazursky, 1986
  • Jerry Lewis, 1984
  • Gene Wilder, 1982
  • Larry Gelbart, 1981
Jack Oakie

Jack Oakie

Don't Show Again