oscars 2024

Ryan Gosling Just Kenergized a Sleepy Oscars

Photo: Patrick F. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images

Perhaps Ken’s job is “beach,” but on Hollywood’s biggest night, Ryan Gosling’s job was to bring the Oscars back to life from the brink of death (sorry, sort of a snooze of a show, naked John Cena and all!). And boy, did that little blond cowboy deliver an entire Toys ’R’ Us store of Kenergy.

On Sunday night, Gosling, who was nominated for his supporting role as Barbie’s sidekick himbo, took the stage at Los Angeles’s Dolby Theatre for a live performance of the Oscar-nominated ditty “I’m Just Ken.” But Gosling wasn’t just Ken: A pitch-perfect embodiment of male fragility and sparkling pink hot pants, this man, occupied by the spirit of a doll with an agnostic lump for genitals, was transcendent. Joined onstage by fellow Kens Simu Liu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, and Ncuti Gatwa, Gosling was fashioned as a male Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, while his side-Kens gave the audience some razzle-dazzle as the 1953 film’s suited men on the stairs.

In pink gloves and indoor sunglasses, the patron saint of patriarchy belted “Anywhere else I’d be a 10” while slapping himself, punching things, getting a little kiss on the cheek, and even kissing a “manly” hand belonging to one lucky camera operator. Even Slash made a surprise appearance! And, unlike his behavior in the mojo dojo casa house, this Ken happily shared the mic with his costars Margot Robbie and America Ferrera and Barbie director Greta Gerwig. That performance even had me envying Jimmy Kimmel momentarily when he had Gosling’s trousers draped over his shoulders. This also now has me fantasizing about Ken dropping trou backstage. Anyway, happy Oscars, and Ken apologists everywhere, rise up.

Ryan Gosling Just Kenergized a Sleepy Oscars