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The Grammys was hardly a laugh-fest this year. LL Cool J ditched his monologue and the show ended on an emotional high. Still, a few stepped up to keep the evening lighthearted, even if it was unintentional.
Kanye Storms the Stage… in Jest
Six years after baffling and berating Taylor Swift after she beat Beyoncé at the VMAs, Kanye West looked like he was ready for a follow-up at the Grammys. As Beck reached the stage to accept his award for Album of the Year (beating Beyoncé, among others), Yeezy appeared to rush up and attempt to grab the mic. As artists watched on in horror (the best reaction was Beyoncé’s husband, Jay-Z, who looked legitimately terrified), Kanye either had a change of heart, or decided his joke was finished. The best reaction, however, was Beck, who not only looked nonplussed, but appeared content with letting Kanye give his speech. Well played, sir.
Shia, Sia. Sia, Shia
What in the hell was that?! Anything that starts with Shia LaBeouf reading a poem can only signal chaos. But here’s the thing: What followed made LaBeouf’s bizarre rambling seem coherent. The shy Sia performed “Chandelier” in her traditional fashion: Back to the audience (this time frozen in a corner, invoking the final shot of “Blair Witch Project”). Meanwhile, Kristen Wiig, in a blonde wig, did spastic, hilarious interpretive dance with Maddie Ziegler, a young dancer and frequent collaborator with Sia. It was performance unlike any we’ve seen at the Grammys and so funny, so bonkers that it made Katy Perry’s Super Bowl show seem subtle.
Pharrell Williams Gives “Happy” New Life
Like the rest of America, Pharrell Williams may be finally tiring of his unavoidable hit single, “Happy” (it was released in 2013). So he re-imagined it in such bizarre, deconstructed fashion that somewhere Bob Dylan was probably smiling. It was truly melodramatic, as Williams was joined by classical pianist Lang Lang and film composer Hans Zimmer. But that’s not what made us laugh. Despite this rendition, Williams was still his playful self, dressed like a bellhop in white gloves, blue shorts with yellow shoes, like something out of a Disneyesque version of “Grand Budapest Hotel.” Whatever keeps you interested, Pharrell.
Paul McCartney’s Goofy Dance
Paul McCartney looked to be having a blast at the Grammys. He seemed perfectly content to play third fiddle to Kanye West and Rihanna during their stripped-down performance of “FourFiveSeconds.” He contently strummed his guitar and appeared to lend back-up vocals to the chorus (we say “appear” because we couldn’t hear him… was that mic on?). Even better, Sir Paul gave us the finest spontaneous dance moves of the evening. He look positively pumped while dancing during ELO performance (until he figured out a camera was on him).
Miley’s Colorful Madonna Intro
Oh, Miley. You only had one job! Introduce Madonna. Keep it simple and keep the spotlight on the legend. So, what did you do? You called her a bitch. We shook our head. We should have expected it. And, yes, we laughed.