How Al Gore Was Saved From Accidentally Declaring His Candidacy for President at Oscars

Kevin Polowy
Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment

The Oscars have been good to former Vice President Al Gore. In 2007, the veep’s influential global warming call-to-action, An Inconvenient Truth, won Academy Awards for Best Documentary and Best Original Song (Melissa Etheridge‘s “I Need to Wake Up”). Earlier on the show, Gore also got big laughs alongside one of the planet’s hottest stars, Leonardo DiCaprio, as the pair announced that the telecast had, for the first time ever, gone green.

As Gore revealed to Yahoo Movies, though, that shtick with Leo didn’t come without anxiety. The bit, staged at a time when the 2008 presidential race was just taking shape and co-scripted by one of his daughters (comedy writer Kristin Gore), ended with the former veep (who narrowly lost the 2000 election to George W. Bush) seemingly building up to declare his candidacy once again… until the show’s orchestra, famous for playing off speechmakers, came in loudly to cut him off.

“The orchestra will [typically] start playing very softly when people are running over time,” Gore told us while promoting the new doc, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power. “The set up was that maybe I was going to announce I was going to run for president again.”

But Gore worried that the music wouldn’t come in quickly and forcefully enough, leaving him in a very compromising position. So he took matters into his own hands. “I went to the orchestra leader and I said, ‘Listen, man, you can’t do it the way you normally do it, you gotta come in really hard and fast from the get-go.’

“And thankfully he did. It saved the joke, and saved me.”

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power is now playing in select theaters and opens nationwide Aug. 4. Watch the trailer:

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