Oscars: How John Cena Pulled Off That Naked Presenter Bit — Without Going Fully Nude

Backstage photos shed light on the “Ricky Stanicky” actor’s modesty pouch from the 96th Academy Awards

From left to right: actor John Cena after his naked Oscars bit and "Poor Things" costume designer Holly Waddington at the 96th Oscars
John Cena and Holly Waddington at the 2024 Oscars (Getty Images)

John Cena wasn’t actually fully naked onstage at the Oscars on Sunday night like his appearance led many to believe.

The “Ricky Stanicky” actor and professional wrestler sidestepped onto the stage, covering his nether regions with the Best Costume Design winner envelope after being prompted by Jimmy Kimmel’s recollection of a streaker at the awards ceremony 50 years ago.

John Cena at the 2024 Oscars (Getty Images)
John Cena at the 2024 Oscars (Getty Images)

The “Barbie” and “Argylle” actor wore a modesty pouch backstage before nearly baring it all for the sake of the ceremony. Photos of his stance in front of the microphone reveal the garment peaking out from behind the envelope.

“Costumes… they are so important. Maybe the most important thing there is,” Cena said in reference to both designers and his lack of attire.

Some version of the accessory is often used for intimacy scenes in films and television. In Cena’s case, it obscured both his frontal privates and back. The actor faux hesitated to even walk out onstage for the bit, telling Kimmel, “You should feel shame right now for suggesting such a tasteless idea.”

John Cena wears a modesty pouch backstage at the 96th annual Oscars
John Cena backstage before his naked bit at the 2024 Oscars (Getty Images)

Perhaps the segment was also inspired by Barry Keoghan’s nude scene at the end of Emerald Fennell’s sophomore film “Saltburn,” for which Keoghan posed in a similar way to Cena on a video magazine cover for Vanity Fair.

Kimmel tried to persuade Cena on the grounds that he wrestles naked, but Cena immediately objected, saying he wrestles in jorts — jean shorts. Kimmel argued that’s actually worse. Cena added, “The male body is not a joke!”

When the wrestler refused to open the envelope because it would involve revealing his package, Kimmel procured a beige curtain to tie around Cena like a toga.

Holly Waddington won the Oscar for her work seen in Yorgos Lanthimos’ “Poor Things.” Cena can currently be seen in the Prime Video comedy “Ricky Stanicky” alongside Zac Efron, Andrew Santino and Jermaine Fowler.

See Cena’s not-quite-full monty moment at the Oscars below:


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