Bret McKenzie, one half of the musical comedy duo Flight of the Conchords, won an Oscar for his song “Man or Muppet” last night. The Best Original Song category is a shadow of its former self at this point, with just two songs nominated and no live performances allowed. But this is a great achievement for McKenzie, who accepted the award from one of the (very rare) funny intros on the show, via Will Ferrell and Zack Galifianakis.
McKenzie spoke of Jim Henson and his team in his speech, saying it was “a true honor to work in the shadows of such legends.” The award was a highlight of a ceremony that felt a little flat, with the Academy clearly keen to play things safe after last year’s perceived failure of employing the double hosting team of James Franco and Anne Hathaway.
Elsewhere, Ludovic Bource's score for The Artist won the award for Original Score, impressively beating out two John Williams nominations and one from Howard Shore. Perhaps the strangest musical appearance was by Pharrell Williams, who spent most of the show stuck up in a balcony with a small revolving cast of musicians, providing musical interludes prior to the commercial breaks.
Check out "Man or Muppet" below.