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A nude John Cena attempts to re-create the 1974 streaker moment in hilarious Oscars bit

Fifty years later, the pro wrestler and actor stripped down to re-create a historic Oscars moment.
/ Source: TODAY

Actor and WWE icon John Cena may have worn a tux to the Oscars, but in the middle of the annual award show, he was supposed to go onstage in his birthday suit.

Host Jimmy Kimmel began the sketch by explaining that in 1974, a streaker appeared behind host David Niven and ran across the stage.

The 2024 version was clearly a bit, as Cena missed the obvious cue from Kimmel before popping his head out from backstage and saying he didn't want to do the naked sketch anymore.

John Cena, left, and Jimmy Kimmel
John Cena, left, and Jimmy Kimmel speak during the Oscars on Sunday, March 10, 2024, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Chris Pizzello / AP

"I changed my mind, I don't want to do the streaker bit anymore," he told Kimmel. "I just don't feel right about it. This is an elegant event! Honestly, you should feel ashamed right now for suggesting such a tasteless idea."

"The male body is not a joke," he added.

"Mine is," Kimmel responded.

Cena refuted Kimmel's idea that he wrestles naked, saying he wrestles "in jorts."

After Kimmel stormed offstage, Cena was left in the nude, tasked with announcing the nominees in the category of best costume design. Holding the envelope over the goods, he then proceeded to scoot to the center of the stage as the audience howled with laughter.

He pretended to realize that he couldn't open the envelope without revealing himself and said as much. Kimmel came back onstage to help. Then, a prerecorded clip played.

A video shared to X, formerly known as Twitter, by Chris Gardner of The Hollywood Reporter, shows that as the clip played, a crew of costume designers ran out onstage to help him put on a Romanesque toga of sorts. As they came back live to Cena, Kimmel pretended to finish tying his sash.

No one watching at home seemed to mind that he was in the buff. On X, fans celebrated the nude look.

"JOHN CENA IS SO UNSERIOUS FOR THIS LMFAOOO," one person wrote.

"JOHN CENA IS WILDING MAN LMAOOOOOO," another viewer posted.

Even TODAY's own Hoda Kotb had thoughts.

"THIS! Hahaha @johncena the plane was giggling!" she shared, along with a photo of the award show on a TV from her flight.

One of the most viral reactions was that of "Barbie" star Margot Robbie in the audience.

In a now-viral post from @FilmUpdates, Robbie can be seen laughing so hard she is hiding her face.

What was the 1974 Oscar streaker controversy?

At the 46th Academy Awards in 1974, host David Niven got an unexpected surprise while introducing Elizabeth Taylor.

The crowd began screaming and shouting as Niven turned around and saw a naked man with long, dark hair and a mustache running past him.

Music began to play, and Niven laughed before addressing the audience with a shrug.

"Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was bound to happen," he said.

"It's fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings," he added.

Niven proceeded to return to his initial mission of announcing Taylor.