Why Terrence Howard Totally Bombed At The Oscars, According To Terrence Howard

You might think it’s easy to get up in front of hundreds of the top actors and filmmakers in Hollywood and present an award at the Oscars. Terrence Howard thought so. But it's not. The star of the hit series Empire saw how everyone who came before him on this year’s Oscar night were reading the prompter and putting their own hilarious spins on it. That’s unfortunately not what happened when it came time for Howard to hit the stage, and we finally have an explanation for this crazy moment.

Howard went on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show Monday night, at which point the SNL vet couldn’t help but ask him about flubbing his presentation. As the actor explains, he was getting a bit cocky. He thought he could one-up everyone else and memorize his lines instead of reading them from the prompter. At one point he even started "clowning" all the other presenters that went up. "Wait until I go up there," he told his wife… and she did. Though Howard did learn his lines -- and though there was a prompter as a safety net -- there were a few factors working against him.

For some reason he wasn’t wearing a belt, which explains why he kept pulling up his pants on the grand stage. Then he was overwhelmed by the stars in attendance. "There’s Oprah," he said. "There’s Quest[love]," who was in stitches as he sat at his drum set listening as Terrence Howard told this story to Jimmy Fallon. He may have started off OK in introducing Whiplash, but by the time he got to The Imitation Game, all his prep went out the window. You can watch Howard explain the whole story on The Tonight Show below.

We all saw this moment, right? Howard went up during the 2015 Oscars to present three of the night’s Best Picture nominees: Whiplash, The Imitation Game and Selma. It might not have been all too clear that he was forgetting his lines, but something was definitely off. His first bit was eloquent and beautifully put, but then his speech devolved into words like "amazing" and "mind-blowing." And then he hit the mic stand, which echoed throughout the entire auditorium and could even be heard at home. "I was like, ‘Maybe nobody noticed.’" We wish that were true. Many people on Twitter started wondering if he was wasted, but this is actually what stage fright mixed with a brain fart looks like in action.