The 2012 London Olympics officially got underway Friday with a grand (if a bit eccentric) opening ceremony conceived by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle.
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With the help of celebrities including Daniel Craig, Kenneth Branagh, J.K. Rowling, David Beckham and Sir Paul McCartney -- not to mention a buzzy cameo by Queen Elizabeth II herself -- Boyle's spectacle paid tribute to the history of the host country and its people.
Mixing filmed pieces with live-action scenes played out in Olympic Park, Boyle explored the "Isles of Wonder." The peaceful green countryside (which felt a bit like The Shire from Lord of the Rings) soon gave way to the "loud and thumpy" urban boom of the Industrial Revolution, during which the actors forged the Olympic rings in fire.
After a quick pause to acknowledge the lost soldiers of World War I and World War II, viewers were treated to a video clip of Craig's James Bond escorting the Queen to the stadium in a helicopter. (Thanks to some Hollywood magic, the queen also "parachuted" into Olympic Park.)
Another portion of the opening ceremony paid tribute to Britain's famed children's literature (Mary Poppins vs. Lord Voldemort!) while another followed a love story from the '60s to the current digital age.
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The latter was a fitting choice, given the amount of buzz the opening ceremony created on Twitter. Whether reacting to Bob Costas' factoids during the Parade of Nations or McCartney's rousing closing performance of "Hey Jude," there was plenty being said.
Check out some of the funniest tweets from the opening ceremony below. (And keep following the funny during the games with our Olympic Witstream!)
"'Really? This is it?' -- China #openingceremony" --Thomas Towell (@thomastowell) on WitStream
"My favorite part of British history is the breakdancing aristocrats. #Olympics" --Joe Veix (@joveix) on WitStream
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"Instead of James Bond, I wished they'd picked Doctor Who, so he could take us all back in time before we started watching this. #Olympics" --Buck Singleton (@buck_singleton) on WitStream
"Yes, because when I think sports, I immediately think Meredith Vieira. Was Joy Behar unavailable? #olympics #openingceremony" -- The Sklar Brothers (@sklarbrothers) on WitStream
"This commentary makes me yearn for the insightful observations of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. #olympics" --Anthony DeVito (AnthonyDevito) on WitStream
"If drunk dancing is an event, the independent Olympic athletes have to be favorites."--Chapin Clark (@ChapinC) on WitStream
"Look at the Queen's glorious frown during the anthem!" -- Andy Cohen (@BravoAndy)
"When Twitter was invented, those who produce Olympic Opening Ceremonies must have uttered a collective "F*ck!"-- Seth Meyers (@Sethmeyers21)
"Watching London's opening ceremonies. Hard to believe my ancestors were conquered by theirs." -- Conan O'Brien (@ConanObrien)
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"This Olympics Opening Ceremony is like a cross between Masterpiece Theater & Braveheart. Where are the Chinese guys with the drums?" -- Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks)
"I know they're elite athletes, but you can't tell me walking around and carrying a flag doesn't wear those guys out." -- Michael Ian Black (@Michaelianblack)
"The Olympics is when America learns about world geography from sports announcers and morning show hosts." -- Rob Lathan (@RobLathan) on WitStream
"So Comcast buying NBC means I'm gonna have to watch Seacrest pretend to care about Modern Pentathlon. I miss anti-trust law."-- Guy Branum (@GuyBranum) on WitStream
"Rumor: Maggie Smith will light the Olympic torch with one of the Dowager Countess' most FIREY zingers! #OpeningCeremonies" -- Ritch Duncan (@RitchieD) on WitStream
"They thought it would be hilarious to have Mr. Bean do a bit about PRETENDING to be bored at the opening ceremony. Let that sink in." -- Guy Endore-Kaiser (@GuyEndoreKaiser) on WitStream
"I bet China feels dumb now for not booking Paul McCartney for its Opening Ceremony." -- Rob Lathan (@RobLathan) on WitStream
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