Members of the Academy, each year you claim to honor great filmmaking. And somehow you continually snub one of the industry’s most gifted performers: me, Improbable Fireball! It’s time to recognize my superlative artistry, distinguished contributions to world cinema, and unparalleled ability to blow shit up without dismembering anyone.
I blanket the sky with end-times conflagrations so actors can furrow their brows and do a slo-mo walk. I defy the laws of physics so their faces don't melt like hot cheese. I use telekinesis to keep shrapnel from impaling the entire crew. I am my own goddamn branch of science! And while I’m working my ass off in the background, the “hero” takes a Sunday stroll.
With a lesser talent, action-movie sequels would not exist. That’s because everyone in the first film would be enjoying their new career as a charcoal briquette. No Bad Boys II or Bad Boys for Life.
But you dismiss my work as a “special effect,” which only reveals your ignorance. I am an artist. My presence doesn’t just save lives. It elevates sub-par material.
Like all great performers, I speak volumes without words. I also speak the language of music with my intricately composed BOOM BOOM-BOOM-BOOM BOOM! But that leitmotif goes unheard by your crass ears. I bet you think Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 3” is basically 40 minutes of someone punching a piano.
Considering the Academy’s total lack of respect, my treatment on set is no surprise. Do I get my own trailer? Sure, if that’s what you call an empty oil drum behind the dumpster. None of my co-stars talk to me unless they need something. “Can you forge this knife set?” “Do you have a minute to vulcanize my tires?” “Will you help me make s’mores?”
You might ask, “But Oscars are for actual people—how can we give a lifetime achievement award to a bunch of nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and potassium nitrate?” And I might ask, “Why must you cling to such a reductionist view of my craft?” Besides, humans are mostly chemical reactions and gas.
Destruction is a form of creation, and it requires a commitment to bold choices. Just as the Stanislavski Method asks, “What do I want?” and “How will I get it?” my billowing hellscapes arise from a fundamental question: “What should I reduce to ash?”
Audiences can’t appreciate my artistic process because they don’t even know I exist. When the credits roll, we see who played “Gas Station Attendant #2.” But do we ever see “Epic Book-of-Revelations Inferno Soaring Majestically Above Former Gas Station,” played by Improbable Fireball?
One person did recognize my raw talent, back when I worked in a restaurant as the kitchen pilot light. I was jazzing up the saganaki when Michael Bay walked in. The theatrics of cheese engulfed in flames really spoke to his artistic vision. He said to me, “The saganaki thing. Can you do that, but bigger and louder? With trucks and robots and giant space rocks?”
While I dutifully channeled my inner Götterdämmerung for those parts, I hoped the smoldering rebar would evoke pathos and show my range. But Hollywood chose to typecast me as a one-dimensional exothermic reaction. Never got a callback when I auditioned for more nuanced roles, like the birthday candles in Secrets & Lies. They always wanted someone more “round on the bottom,” and “tapered on top,” and “less like the Sun’s core.” In this business, you’re either too hot or not hot enough.
You know what really hurts? All the choice combustion roles now end up “performed” by some CGI bullshit. After everything I've given to the genre, you're trading me for sterile, cartoonish flame-blobs?!
For decades, I’ve watched my peers collect awards for “a career filled with luminous performances” or “explosive on-screen presence.” Yet here I am, the very definition of those things, without a single nomination for anything! Ever!!
I’m done being an industry outsider—the lone incandescent gas ball in a world full of gasbags. So guess who’s making their off-off-Broadway debut next month in Hedda Gabler? That’s right. I’m playing the lead and the stove!