No, Glenn Close did not take home a trophy tonight (though her Best Supporting Actress nomination for Hillbilly Elegy was her eighth). But she did win something and it was almost as good as Oscar: respect from music aficionados. During an interstitial game conducted by this year’s musical director Questlove and emceed by Lil Rel Howery, snippets of movie music were played and various stars were asked whether they were nominated for Oscars, won, or none of the above. Prince’s “Purple Rain” was not nominated (though he did win for Purple Rain’s score) and Andra Day didn’t know that, while Donna Summer’s “Last Dance” (from Thank God It’s Friday) did win. Daniel Kaluuya didn’t know that. And if you didn’t know, now you know
Then Lil Rel targeted Glenn Close and Quest dropped an excerpt of a once-ubiquitous, sunny little ditty. Anyone who paid a lot of attention to late ‘80s rap instantly knew it was E.U.’s “Da Butt.” Well, so did Glenn Close because out from her mouth tumbled a Wiki entry. Here I present it in full:
That’s “Da Butt.” Yeah, it’s “Da Butt,” I know that. “Da Butt” was a classic song by the great Washington, D.C., go-go band E.U. Shoutouts to Sugar Bear [E.U.’s lead singer aka Gregory Elliot], the Backyard Band [another D.C. go-go band], and the whole DMV...I remember this, so Spike Lee had it written for his brilliant movie School Daze. And, um, my friends at the Oscars, um, missed it and it wasn’t nominated so it couldn’t have won, which I think is an effing tragedy.
And then, at Lil Rel’s prompting, Close did da butt.
I want to believe that Close had this little nugget of go-go history in her back pocket, but even if this was entirely a staged bit and she was fed information by the producers, wow! What a bit! Funniest joke of the night.
Update (April 26, 9:20 a.m.): The Los Angeles Times confirmed that Close’s “Da Butt” bit was scripted. If only all scripted Oscars jokes were as good as “Glenn Close knows about go-go!”