The best Oscars moments are often the ones none of us get to see, and that was certainly the case this year. (The breathless play-by-plays of Frances McDormand holding court at the post-ceremony parties while clutching a bucket of fried chicken—not to mention the wild caper involving her briefly stolen Oscar—certainly attest to that.)
Another tease of something we at home were deprived of came Monday afternoon when The Lonely Island, the comedy trio best-known for Saturday Night Live Digital Shorts like “Dick in a Box,” posted a music video on their official YouTube channel featuring storyboards and a rough track for a number they said they had written for the Oscars telecast but which was ultimately scrapped for being “financially and logistically impossible.”
Conceived to include appearances from Thor, Wonder Woman, Pennywise the Clown, the cast of Star Wars, the Hollywood Chrises, Tiffany Haddish, and Michael Fassbender oblivious to his The Snowman flop, the demo is titled “Why Not Me?,” a lament from stars of movies the Academy typically snubs despite their commercial and critical success.
The plan, according to an open letter that appears before the YouTube video, was to produce a “fully shot, star-studded music video of exorbitant cost.” It’s unclear how much of this is tongue-in-cheek (this is an Andy Samberg-led comedy trio, after all), but the song and storyboards that play next are fully realized and extremely funny. Considering that The Lonely Island has performed a nominated song at the Academy Awards before—“Everything Is Awesome” from The LEGO Movie—the group’s involvement with the Oscars is entirely feasible.
(A request for clarification on whether the song really was produced with the intent of airing during the Oscars has not been returned.)
Composed by Greg Chun, who worked with The Lonely Island on Michael Bolton’s Big Sexy, Valentine’s Day Special for Netflix, the track would have opened with Chris Hemsworth as Thor in earnest musical theatre voice, lilting: “Why not me? Do I not a deserve a nomination? The reviews were raves to be sure: ‘Fun for the whole family, look no farther than Thor.’”
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman would then join in: “Why not me? I left my family to fight for what’s right. Saved the world from the devil below, but I’m sure it was hard for Sir Daniel Day Lewis to learn how to sew.”
They’re joined by a growing ensemble of embittered characters from box-office hits that were slighted by the Academy. Pennywise the Clown from It wonders if he was snubbed for not being classically handsome. Tiffany Haddish sings an aria about peeing while hanging from a zipline: “Meryl Streep has never done that.” A chorus of Chrises Pratt, Pine, Evans, Hemsworth, and Rock lead into a bridge sung by Michael Fassbender. It builds and builds until the stage, or video frame, as it were, would be filled with box-office stars.
But alas, the song proved too much of a burden to produce. We’re not sure how much the hot dog guns in the show’s one, interminable star-studded bit cost, or if the Liberace-on-speed-style set really need all those crystals, but we’d venture the funds might have been better spent producing this.