Acceptance speeches from the winners of Tom's 19th Annual Oscar Contest, 2002

Richard Mansfield, First Place Winner:

"This year I'm not going to thank all the little people who served as stepping-stones. They've been thanked enough in my acceptance speeches during all my previous wins. No, tonight I'm celebrating my latest victory by forgiving all the glowering losers for the frozen smiles and shark-dead eyes I see all around me.

"Some of the smiles are frozen, of course, thanks to countless botox injections, leaving the actor capable of only a single expression: astonishment. Others have over-indulged in collagen, their lips swollen like the wrong side of a baboon.

"But enough about them! Let's keep the focus on me! True, tonight's triumph is merely the latest in a stunning series of triumphs over the years. As I struggle to humble myself and to come up with a believably meek expression, I almost feel as if I should give others a chance by retiring myself to the Tom's Oscar Contest Hall of Fame. But no. It's just addicting, this feeling inside-being among, but not of, all those who failed to win. I'm convincing, I think, offering them all a slight Olivia DeHaviland-type smile, as they stumble through the debris of their collapsed hopes. I glance in the mirror and see the very image of graciousness..."

[Note: At this point, Richard had to be escorted off-stage and returned to the custody of his handlers. We wish him well.]

David English, Second Place Winner:

"I would like to thank all those uplifting Army ads that encouraged me to be all that I can be. Also, a big thanks to my parents. It looks like all those years of college are finally starting to pay off. If I could win Tom's Oscar Contest just 5,000 more times, I may be able to pay off those student loans.

"Since I'm a bonafide winner, I expect that I will become an inspirational speaker. When asked for advice on the ennobling aspects of competition, I'll reply with these immortal words from Woody Allen, 'Eighty percent of success is showing up.' Gee, I feel vaguely inspired already.

[Aside:] "That reminds me. Where's that aspiring actress who's supposed to lead me away? She's not around, so maybe I'll do some one-handed pushups to show I'm not over the hill. Uh-oh, that's not working. They're losing interest. I'll just sneak out behind this curtain."

[Note: David informs us that the last time he won a contest was in 1985. He won a Sperry IT computer by writing the letters "dp" more than 11,000 times into a six-inch by six-inch square. He says it's pretty much a toss-up as to which contest was harder.]

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