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John Mulaney Explains “Field of Dreams”' Entire Plot While Presenting at 2024 Oscars: 'That Should Win Best Picture'

John Mulaney presented Sunday's Academy Award for Best Sound to 'The Zone of Interest'

<p>Rich Polk/Variety via Getty ; Universal/Getty </p> John Mulaney on March 10, 2024 and Kevin Costner in 1989

Rich Polk/Variety via Getty ; Universal/Getty

John Mulaney on March 10, 2024 and Kevin Costner in 1989's Field of Dreams

John Mulaney made his case for an old classic at the 2024 Oscars.

As standup comedian Mulaney, 41, appeared onstage to present the award for Best Sound during the 96th Academy Awards on Sunday, he veered into a comedy bit revolving around Kevin Costner's 1989 film Field of Dreams.

"For years, movies didn't have sound, and then they figured it out. Some people say that the silent era was the golden era of film — these people are difficult and insane," Mulaney quipped.

"Without sound we wouldn't have been able to hear such classic lines as 'You're going to need a bigger boat,' 'I'll have what she's having,' and, 'He was in the Amazon with my mother when she was researching spiders just before she died,' " he added, referencing classic movies Jaws and When Harry Met Sally and poking fun at Sony's recent film Madame Web.

"Or what about that moment in Field of Dreams where we hear 'if you build it, he will come,' and then Costner does it, he builds a baseball field," Mulaney added. "Or I guess he doesn't build it — he mows down corn, and then there is a field and he's like, 'I'm going to watch ghosts play baseball,' and the bank is like, 'You wanna pay your mortgage?' And he's like, 'Nah, I'm gonna watch ghosts play baseball.' "

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Costner, 69, starred in Field of Dreams as a corn farmer in Iowa who has a vision to build a baseball field at "Shoeless" Joe Jackson's (Ray Liotta) behest. The film received three nominations at the 1990 Oscars, including one for Best Picture.

"And then he finds James Earl Jones, who wrote The Boat Rocker, which I thought was a real book deep into my 20s, and he's like, 'People will come, Ray,' — he's the only one with a financial plan," Mulaney added. "But what's weird is Timothy Busfield pushes little Gaby Hoffmann off the bleachers and she falls down and she's unconscious."

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<p>Daniele Venturelli/Getty</p> John Mulaney on March 10, 2024

Daniele Venturelli/Getty

John Mulaney on March 10, 2024

Mulaney finished his presentation by joking about the film's climax, in which one of the ghostly baseball players (Burt Lancaster) leaves the field in order to help Costner's character's daughter when she falls and chokes on a hot dog.

"He comes up and he pats her on the back a couple of times and he's like, 'Hot dog, stuck in the throat,' and then he can't go back in the game," Mulaney joked. " 'Cause I guess there's a rule in ghost baseball that if you leave the field at any point to become an elderly ghost and do the Heimlich maneuver, you can't return to the field." 

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<p>DAVID SWANSON/AFP via Getty</p> John Mulaney and Olivia Munn on March 10, 2024

DAVID SWANSON/AFP via Getty

John Mulaney and Olivia Munn on March 10, 2024

"I love Field of Dreams, that should win Best Picture — though they'll probably go with one of this year's," Mulaney joked, before presenting the award for Best Sound to The Zone of Interest. That film walked away with awards for Best Sound and Best International Feature at Sunday's awards show.

Mulaney attended the Oscars with his girlfriend Olivia Munn. The pair posed for photos together on the red carpet before the ceremony, with the comedian wearing an all-black tuxedo and Munn, 43, in a floor-length silver gown.

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