Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, And Regina Hall Kicked Off A Highly Unusual Oscars By Roasting Nominees

This year’s Academy Awards were chaotic even before the show began. There was controversy over the telecast gutting a pile of awards. There was the decision to not only bring hosts back after three years without any but hire three of them. Then there’s the possibility that Sean Penn will “smelt” his two Oscars. When the show began, things were even more unusual.

Instead of the show starting, as it often does, with the host(s) doing a bit, it opened with Venus and Serena Williams, two of the subjects of King Richard. Then there was a Beyoncé musical. Then there was DJ Khaled. Then there was a group monologue. Then there was a solo monologue. Then, some 20 minutes into a show that’s not supposed to cross the three hour line, they finally gave out the first (on-air, at least) award, to West Side Story’s Ariana DeBose.

After Beyoncé performed “Be Alive,” her song from King Richard, hosts Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall emerged onto the stage. They fended off a gate-crashing DJ Khaled, and started flinging quips, sometimes at the show’s expense.

“The Academy Awards hired three women to host because it’s cheaper than hiring one man,” Schumer cracked. When they discussed the awards that were handed out before the show, some of them technical trophies, the lights on the stage briefly short-circuited.

Schumer was bound to draw some harsh reactions, and there were huge gasps when she made a joke about the most serious part of any Oscars show. “You know what’s in the In Memoriam package? The Golden Globes,” she said, referring to that show going AWOL this year.

There were also digs at political leaders. “This year we saw a frightening display of how toxic masculinity turns into cruelty against women and children,” Hall said. To which Sykes added, “Damn that Mitch McConnell.” (Hall, of course, was referring to The Power of the Dog.)

Eventually they broke up, with Sykes and Hall leaving so Schumer could do her own monologue. She admitted that, having given birth before the pandemic, she didn’t see any of the nominated movies — except for Encanto, which she claimed she watched “109 times” with her young son. She also threw some of the nominated films under the bus.

“After years of Hollywood ignoring women’s stories, this year we finally got a movie about the incredible Williams’ sisters’…dad,” she joked about King Richard. She also stuck it to one of the lowest rated films among the 10 Best Picture nominees. “I guess Academy members Don’t Look Up reviews!” About DiCaprio, she said he’s “don’t so much to fight climate change and leave behind a cleaner, greener planet for his girlfriends.”

Before they broke up, though, Sykes had a little thing to say to those watching in Florida, the site of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill: “We’re gonna have a gay night.”