Every year, something happens at the Academy Awards that has people rushing to social media to talk about it. This year was no exception. Topics included the speed of the In Memoriam segment, the moving of the Best Actor and Actress awards to the end of the show, and the surprising snub of Chadwick Boseman. But the one that stood out most: Lil Rel Howery getting Glenn Close to “do Da Butt”.
I love that Lil Rel would be doing the same thing whether he knew the shot was live or not pic.twitter.com/RcIuPUg5y8
— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) April 25, 2021
Howery actually co-hosted the pre-show festivities with Questlove, and they somehow managed to bring some liveliness to what is generally an often over-glorified, not-too-exciting event for those watching at home: the red carpet. Howery managed to bring some much needed humor to the proceedings that usually just reads as a self-congratulatory pat on the back from all those involved. And he did so just by being himself.
Howery and Questlove managed to keep that going during the show itself. During the bit, Howery had Questlove play a song and have the celebrities guess whether or not the song was nominated or won an Oscar. It’s a pretty standard premise admittedly, but once Howery got to Glenn Close, it all of a sudden came to life. The song he chose for her was Da Butt by E.U. He assumed that Close wouldn’t know anything about Da Butt – which is a sentence I’ve always wanted to write – before she proved him dead wrong. She even got up and demonstrated some of the dance.
If the whole show had been a bit more like this, perhaps it wouldn’t have been the clunky mess that we wound up getting last night. While the show had a more laid back vibe that was a departure from its usual elegance, it still seemingly lacked anything of real interest, save for the moment that Howery and Questlove briefly took over.
This brings us to our point. The Academy should bring back the Oscar hosts – which has been absent since 2019 – for next year’s ceremony. And they should listen to social media and let Lil Rel Howery serve as host, dammit. I mean, the bar has already been set pretty low. (Thanks to Anne Hathaway and James Franco in 2011). What’s the worse that could happen?