Aside from the unforgettable best picture blunder, one of the most-talked about moments from Sunday night’s Oscars came from a Chicago couple who stole the spotlight, and the hearts of viewers, in the middle of the show.
Gary Coe and his fiancée Vicki Mines were visiting Los Angeles and riding a Hollywood tour bus when, in a prank led by host Jimmy Kimmel, they were unknowingly brought into the Dolby Theater during the live ceremony. The tour group had been told they were stopping to see an exhibit of Oscar dresses and gowns.
“In a way it’s true,” Kimmel told the crowd before the unsuspecting tourists arrived. “They will see dresses and gowns, but they will be on people. So, they don’t know it but the moment they open the door, they are going to be on live TV and we are going to surprise them.”
Needless to say, the Chicago couple was stunned when they walked in.
Coe, who led the group with his fiancée, was brought toward the front of the stage by Kimmel before he was asked to introduce himself, all while recording every moment with his iPhone that was covered in a bright purple case.
“You know that we are on live TV, so you don’t need to do that,” Kimmel joked as Coe answered every question with his eyes on his iPhone screen.
“I know, but I want to,” an awestruck Coe said.
His fiancée quickly propped her cellphone on a selfie stick to record the moment as well.
Singer Keith Urban captured the whole encounter from the front row with wife Nicole Kidman:
The Chicago couple, as well as the hashtag #GaryFromChicago immediately became a top-trending topic across social media.
Many viewers resonated with their cliché, yet endearing, tourist behavior.
They ended up going home with much more than the memories captured on their cellphones. After the couple noted that they were planning on getting married in the summer, Kimmel asked Mines who her favorite actor was. She pointed to Denzel Washington, who was just an arms-length away.
Washington quickly jumped up, even offering to officiate an impromptu wedding ceremony.
“I now pronounce you husband and wife!” Washington proclaimed before posing for a selfie with the two.
Before they made their departure, Kimmel called on actress Jennifer Aniston, who was sitting a few rows away, to give the couple something of a souvenir to take home with them. She quickly rummaged through her purse to find something before offering up her sunglasses.
And that’s not the only gift they will be getting.
Within hours, the Chicago Bears, the Chicago Bulls and Giordano’s in their hometown of Chicago were among those giving the soon-to-be newlyweds offers of their own: