In association with my yesterday’s question about the meaning of ‘metaphysical impossibility’ of the chance of making speech at Oscar Award wining for most of us, I found the following sentence in the New York Times’ (February 23) article titled “Tips for Public Speaking”:

“Nearly everyone gets some anxiety about public speaking — even Oscar-winning actors. Here are some tips to help you through a big speech: --

Remember, the audience really wants you to succeed. Except that one guy in the back, Brad.”

Who is Brad who sits in the back of the hall? If it is Bradley, why should he be Bradley, not Dick, Charles, John, or anyone else?

Why those who don’t want you to succeed is only one person while there could be several of your rivals who don't like your success at anytime.

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    This probably was a joke aimed at Brad Pitt.
    – Robusto
    Feb 25, 2013 at 22:34
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    If the speaker had actually said "Charles" or "John" or anyone else you would probably still be here asking the question.... I see it as a humorous way to acknowledge that there are probably a few people who will take some satisfaction from your failure.
    – Hellion
    Feb 25, 2013 at 23:08
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    Explaining this joke is, IMO, off topic. Feb 25, 2013 at 23:20
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    Even this is an off-topic joke because the fun is self-explanatory to Americans, I, non-native English speaker have little knowledge on western culture, particularly on its pop culture as you enjoy. I would never reach the idea that ‘Brad’ refers to Brad Pitt who has never won an Oscar inspite of his fame unless being explained by Robusto-san and J.R. If EL&U is exclusive site to native English speakers with Anglo-American cultural background, I have to be excluded from the site so that I may not post the question that embarrasses you with off topic questions. Feb 26, 2013 at 0:37
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    Oishi-san, your questions are always welcome here, even if some of the more splenetic folks don't seem to appreciate them.
    – Robusto
    Feb 26, 2013 at 4:22

2 Answers 2


My guess is that it refers to Brad Pitt. He's arguably one of the most successful actors in Hollywood today to have never won an Oscar. Sounds to me like it's poking fun at his (presumably) bitter appearance at the ceremony.


I know Brad. He's nephew of John Doe. Look up John Doe and you will have your answer.

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