John Travolta has starred in some of Hollywood’s greatest films, but John McEnroe reminds us the actor will forever be linked to his 2014 Oscars gaffe.
With ESPN broadcasting the 2023 Wimbledon Championships Monday morning, the cameras showed Idina Menzel in attendance, prompting play-by-play voice Chris Fowler to take note.
“All the luminaries love to come to Wimbledon,” Fowler said. “Idina Menzel is here, perhaps checking scores on other courts. Maybe not.”
“Here’s a trivia question, what did John Travolta call her?” McEnroe asked, drawing a big laugh from Fowler.
John Travolta catching strays at Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/aBDyhHzhLe
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) July 3, 2023
The answer to McEnroe’s trivia question is Adele Dazeem. It’s been more than nine years since Travolta was behind one of the biggest fails in Oscars history, famously flubbing Idina Menzel’s name. While attempting to introduce Menzel to the stage to perform “Let it Go,” Travolta welcomed the “wickedly talented, one and only, Adele Dazeem.” It was one of the most famous mistakes in recent Oscars history but was wildly usurped by Will Smith slapping Chris Rock last year.
McEnroe didn’t seem to know the answer to his own trivia question, he just knew Travolta famously butchered her name. And as he attempted to mock Travolta for his infamous Oscars gaffe, McEnroe similarly, albeit to a much lesser extent, struggled to correctly pronounce “Idina Menzel.”
“It wasn’t Indina Meze, Menzel,” McEnroe said.
In defense of McEnroe, “Wasn’t Idina Menzel” is a bit of a tongue twister, and at least his attempt came out much better than “Adele Dazeem.” But if you’re going to roast Travolta’s Oscars blunder, being able to correctly and cleanly pronounce “Idina Menzel” should be a prerequisite.