Feb 25, 2013, 9:00 AM EDT
He co-hosted the Oscars in 2011 to not-great acclaim, so James Franco thought he’d take a less stressful late February gig this year. In town to promote his new movie Oz, the Great and Powerful, Franco had grand marshal duties at the Daytona 500, where he was tasked to begin the race with the iconic “Gentlemen, start your engines!” call-out.
Professor Marvel, who had a way with words, probably would have nailed it. But Franco did not. What he actually said was: “Drivers, and Danica, start your engines!” (See the video below). This did not go over well.
Honestly, I think Franco was trying to give Danica props, but the way he worded it messed the whole thing up.—
John Walters (@jdubs88) February 24, 2013
Our analysis: Franco simply screwed up, saying “Drivers” when he meant “Gentlemen.” Kind of like Neil Armstrong saying “One small step for man,” instead of “a man.” Too bad we didn’t have Twitter then.
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