A few awards into Sunday’s 91st Academy Awards telecast, presenters Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry waltzed onto the stage wearing practically every costume used by the 2019 Oscar nominees. Laughs aside, the stars of Can You Ever Forgive Me? and If Beale Street Could Talk were dressed appropriately as they were on hand to present the award for Best Costume Design. The award went to Black Panther‘s Ruth E. Carter, but not before McCarthy and Henry’s presentation stole the show.
“A rakish tilt to a hat, the drape of fabric just so. Nuance and sophistication are just two qualities of the most effective costume design,” said Henry with practiced sincerity. McCarthy, meanwhile, removed her giant sunhat to reveal a short, reddish wig and played with a small rabbit puppet. Also, the massive cape she wore was covered it stuff rabbits and a few other woodland creatures. It was ridiculous and it was awesome.
The moment came to a head when, after making a joke about how costuming doesn’t “distract from the story” while distracting the audience with her puppet, McCarthy then attempted to use the prop to open the envelope. It didn’t work at all and Henry had to step in to open it so that the pair could announce Carter’s much-deserved win. Then again, the gag was the point and it flowed nicely with the previous bit of onstage banter that Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph had pulled off.