Ryan Gosling to perform “I’m Just Ken” at Oscars; what were the other most memorable Best Song moments?

Ryan Gosling has finally agreed to do “I’m Just Ken” at the 96th Academy Awards…Can it be an all-time great performance?

Last Updated on March 5, 2024

I'm Just Ken

Ken is far too sensitive to peer pressure, which is a good thing for Oscar fans because Ryan Gosling will officially perform “I’m Just Ken” at this year’s ceremony despite initially showing hesitancy. Now, will it stand as one of the best performances in Oscar history or will it go full Rob Lowe/Snow White?

I fully expect “I’m Just Ken” to be a showstopper, especially now that Gosling has confirmed he’ll be the one behind the mic and it won’t be given to somebody not even associated with the movie. However, admittedly sometimes that works out extremely well, as when Robin Williams performed “Blame Canada” from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. And while that song lost to Tarzan’s “You’ll Be In My Heart”, you can’t tell me you remember Phil Collins’ performance that night.

Another oddball performance for a song didn’t win but we still remember Ray Parker Jr. doing the title song from Ghostbusters, the presentation of which came off like an off-Broadway production of the movie that didn’t even attempt to get the cast on stage. Instead, we got Dom DeLuise as some sort of vampire (we think?)! The Little Mermaid’s two performances were also of the tight-budget variety, although we were spared absurd cameos. The ‘80s were a strange time in the movie industry…

Big productions can be dicey to be sure, running the risk of backfiring and taking away from what makes the song so good. Jumping to the ‘90s there was “That Thing You Do!” from its namesake movie, which somehow didn’t hit the mark despite the high energy of the performances and dance ensemble.

I really hope this doesn’t happen for “I’m Just Ken”, which is a huge production in Barbie and so almost has an obligation to match that on the stage of the Dolby Theatre. I don’t think Gosling will settle for anything less than complete dedication to bringing the song to life in front of a packed theater, using the camp factor to his advantage. After all, he has gone all in on its success so far…Too bad it has some competition for the gold…“I’m Just Ken” will be competing against songs from American Symphony, Flamin’ Hot, Killers of the Flower Moon, and, yes, Barbie, with “What Was I Made For?” the odds-on favorite. The 96th Academy Awards take place on Sunday, March 10th.

Are you looking forward to Ryan Gosling performing “I’m Just Ken” at the Oscars? How do you think it will rank among the most over-the-top performances?

Source: Variety

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with JoBlo.com periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.