If Sunday night’s Oscars seemed more fun and less bloated than in past years, you can thank two things: a “thank you scroll” at the bottom of the screen that freed winners up to give proper speeches instead of roll-calling agents and managers. And the comedians that came out and gave fearless performances, with Chris Rock setting the stage by bringing up the #OscarsSoWhite controversy and pushing far past what you’d normally expect from humor at the Academy Awards.
The night was a comedy bounty, and it’s hard to pick who had the funniest moments and what was the best joke. Steve Carell and Drunk Tina Fey got together to present the “nonimees” for Best Production Design. Louis C.K. highlighted the difference between the rich people competing for major categories and the scrappy up-and-comers vying for Best Documentary Short. And Kevin Hart proved why Chris Rock has to worry about all his gigs getting stolen.
You can’t credit the showrunners for all the best parts of last night. Sacha Baron Cohen was actually supposed to present Room‘s nomination for Best Picture as himself, but snuck into the bathroom and donned his Ali G costume in the moments before hitting the stage. You understand why the Oscars crew didn’t want him up there: his Minions joke was one of the most outrageous during a night where many of the presenters pulled no punches.