The Truth Behind the Oscars' Clapping Dog Revealed

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.12 - 2024 2:46 PM CET

Photo: YouTube
Photo: YouTube
The clapping dog stole the show at the Oscars. Now, the truth behind how it was done is revealed.

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The clapping dog that stole the show at the Oscars wasn't actually part of the live audience, adding another layer to our reality-check moments, following Kate Middleton's photo editing revelation.

During the Oscars ceremony on Sunday, as Robert Downey Jr. received the award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Oppenheimer, viewers were charmed by Messi the border collie, who appeared to be clapping in the audience.

Messi, known for his role as Snoop in Anatomy of a Fall — the winner of Best Original Screenplay at the 2024 Oscars — quickly became a sensation.

The night's host, Jimmy Kimmel, disclosed that the furry star's appearance was pre-recorded. Messi's over-enthusiasm during rehearsal, marked by incessant barking, led to a change in plans.

"The dog was barking like crazy the whole time because he's a dog, which made it really hard to tell jokes," Kimmel said on his show the following Monday.

Describing the rehearsal chaos, Kimmel likened it to releasing a dozen squirrels into the theater. Consequently, the team decided to pre-tape Messi's reactions, including the now-famous clapping scene after Downey Jr.'s win, to prevent any live disturbances.

This moment, while pre-planned, became an instant hit online, with some expressing concerns that Messi's endearing presence might influence the awards too much. A behind-the-scenes clip shared online showed the filming of these segments, with Messi and a few audience members participating before the actual event.

Photo: YouTube

Despite online speculation of a stand-in dog, Messi's trainer, Laura Martin Contini, confirmed their attendance for the filming. Kimmel humorously noted that it was technically impossible for Messi to clap, revealing that a prop master simulated the action using fake dog legs.

Though Messi wasn't physically present at the Oscars, the cleverly crafted clip convinced many viewers otherwise, sparking widespread adoration on social media for what became one of the night's most memorable moments.

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