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Right Before He Went (Mostly) Naked At The Oscars, John Cena Said He Would 'Wholeheartedly Commit' To 'Embarrassing' Himself For Laughs

 John cena mostly naked on stage at the 2024 oscars.
John cena mostly naked on stage at the 2024 oscars.

I don’t think anyone would have guessed, when John Cena hit the WWE stage on SmackDown in 2002, that the big guy rapping and wearing jorts would one day be a contender for the title of Our Greatest Comedic Actor, but over two decades later, here we are. He might not have technically been one of the 2024 Oscar winners, but who can deny that the man known for delivering many an Attitude Adjustment in the ring certainly won when he agreed to go (mostly) naked at the Oscars to present an award? Well, it turns out that before that blessed event, Cena said he would “wholeheartedly commit” to “embarrassing” himself for laughs.

What Did John Cena Say About Committing To Embarrassing Himself For Laughs?

Like many a wrestler before him, John Cena has turned his time in the ring into numerous appearances in films and on television. Unlike many wrestlers turned actors, however, the man has become a true comedic powerhouse on screen. Shortly before his hilarious Academy Awards appearance (which had ABC execs running scared), he spoke with People about his newly released comedy, Ricky Stanicky (which you can watch with an Amazon Prime subscription), and talked about what it takes to bring laughter to the masses, saying:

Sometimes, confidence and foolish courage is all you need, you know?

Alright, sir. Make it sound easy, why don’t you? From Cena having several funny TV appearances in his past, to small roles in comedies like Sisters and Trainwreck, and then starring in movies like Blockers and delivering the scene-stealing work we spotlighted in our Ricky Stanicky review, he’s proven his willingness to do pretty much anything to make us laugh. So, he definitely has all the “confidence” and “foolish courage” in the world. If you’re looking to someday reach Cena levels of levity in your own life, however, he did continue, and said:

You have to do those embarrassing moments on screen where you're asked to give of yourself and be vulnerable — whether it's dressed as a merman, whether it's in your tighty whities or in a Britney Spears outfit — you've got to wholeheartedly commit.

He’s so right, and if you’ve watched a number of comedies, you will know that such wholehearted commitment to “embarrassing moments” may not pay off in the big laughs you were so hoping for. It won’t necessarily be easier to commit in a deeply serious dramatic scene, but if said scene doesn’t quite work, at least no one will come away from watching it feeling embarrassed for you.

Related:

Behind-The-Scenes Pic Shows How John Cena Pulled Off Being ‘Naked’ At The Oscars

Basically, there are all kinds of vulnerability, and going to the lengths Cena has on camera for our amusement definitely ranks right up there as some of the most ridiculously vulnerable work in the world. And, if you’re thinking that his current stature as one of Hollywood’s go-to funny buff guys is so far removed from his time in the WWE, think again. As Cena added:

I come from a world where guys go out in their underwear, throw oil all over themselves and talk trash to each other. That in itself is ridiculous. But because we commit and we are authentically representing the characters we try to build, it brings you to the edge of your seat.

Who knows? Maybe one day John Cena will be an actual Oscar winner for embarrassing himself thoroughly to make us all laugh. Even if that doesn't happen, we're all better for his efforts.