ACM Awards 1983: Mr. T Bewilders The Crowd With A Weird Reading Of “The Rules”

Mr. T ACM Awards
ACM Awards

The 59th ACM Awards are coming up later this week so we’ve been taking a look back at some of the most memorable moments in the show’s history.

There was living legend Alan Jackson’s protest to pre-recorded tracks, George Jones thanking his “ex-wife and new husband-in-law”, Matthew McConaughey’s story about pretending to make George Strait’s custom boots, and so many more, but one that always sticks in my head doesn’t even involve a country music artist.

It’s no secret that there’s been a pretty substantial increase in non-country artists dabbling in the genre. Post Malone officially went “country” by teaming up with Morgan Wallen for “I Had Some Help”, Lana Del Ray released a country project earlier this year, and of course Beyonce’s Cowboy Carter album caused quite the stir in the genre, but it’s not just a recent phenomena and this video from the 1983 ACM Awards proves just that.

At the time, Mr. T’s now classic TV show The A-Team was in its first season and his career was fast on the upswing after his role in Rocky III as Clubber Lang, which brought to national spotlight his now iconic line “I pity the fool.”

Well, the suits behind the scenes decided there was no better person to do the typically boring tradition of reading the rules than Mr. T himself, and while he didn’t disappoint, it was clear many people in the audience were pretty confused by the whole ordeal.

Introducing himself as the law, boss, and enforcer, he launches into an intimidating, yet humorous, reading of the long process by which nominations and winners are selected. Multiple times throughout this, the camera cuts to people’s bewildered faces in the crowd, clearly unsure of how they should be reacting.

For my money, the best part is when he calls out Dwight Call and John Trovani, who were responsible for counting the ballots and keeping the results a secret until announced onstage, out from behind the curtain to give them some props, before promptly telling the crowd to stop clapping and the two men to get back to safety.

Why this happened, I have no idea, but man, it’s at least fun to go back and watch.

For this year’s festivities, Reba will be hosting and Post Malone and Noah Kahan will be performing, along with a list of more typical country award show acts.

Luke Combs leads the way with 8 nominations with Megan Moroney and Morgan Wallen following with 6 each. Flatland Cavalry secured their first nomination for Group of the Year (which is yet another sign that the genre is improving) and Tracey Chapman is up for her first ACM award in the Song of the Year category, thanks to Combs’ cover of “Fast Car”.

For Entertainer of the Year we’ve got Luke Combs, Cody Johnson, Jelly Roll, Chris Stapleton, Morgan Wallen, Kane Brown, and Lainey Wilson in the running.

The 59th ACM’s will stream exclusively on Prime Video this Thursday from the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas.

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