Kenergizing News: ‘Barbie’ Star Ryan Gosling Will Perform The Hit Song “I’m Just Ken” At The Oscars

Ryan Gosling Barbie

When the initial teaser trailer dropped for Barbie and revealed an homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey, I knew I was going to be in from Day 1.

Never mind that Ryan Gosling — whose character Holland March from The Nice Guys is one of the funniest in cinema history — was signed on for another seemingly excellent comedic role as Ken.

Gosling’s pseudo-meta/in-character-as-Ken promotional tour was a masterclass that only made me and I’m sure countless other people want to flock out to the movie. This billi0n-dollar smash hit of a blockbuster, Barbie, was a fantastic film. Definitely worthy of a Best Picture nomination. Greta Gerwig got snubbed for Best Director. Margot Robbie crushed it in the titular role. America Ferrera’s monologue alone was iconic. The all-star cast was a who’s who of gifted actors.

But another brief flash of Barbie‘s OG teaser foreshadowed old-school musical numbers. While I enjoyed the choreographed dance party at Barbie’s house, the odyssey that was “I’m Just Ken” blew me away. Now, we’ll get to see it live, on stage, at The Oscars in some form or fashion after Gosling agreed to do it.

As it appeared in Barbie, “I’m Just Ken” began with Gosling’s character alone, reflecting on his life before an epic beach-off battle with all the other Kens. Then comes the showdown, which comes to a head with Gosling and Simu Liu’s Ken beaching each other off. Their Kenergy is too much for Barbieland/Kendom to handle, and it leads to a total music genre shift into a power-chord, synth-propelled fever dream. All the Kens gang up against each other to dance out their differences and express their feelings. Ultimately, the Kens find common ground, reach a resolution, and stop all their silly fighting.

What’s great about “I’m Just Ken” is that it delivered on the initial flash of promise I watched from that teaser. It looked like something ripped right out of Signin’ in the Rain‘s massive “Broadway Medley” sequence.

An underappreciated part of the transition to the fever-dream musical is the reaction shots from several Kens. My favorite is from Kingsley Ben-Adir, who goes full Raiders of the Lost Ark scream, as if he’s about to have his face melted off by the Ark’s divine energy. Thankfully, that proved not to be the case here.

So anyway, my question is: How exactly are they going to pull off “I’m Just Ken” at the Academy Awards? Will we get the rival Ken gangs dancing off? Will it be Gosling going solo? I really hope this goes well. Given that Gosling is game for it, I have no doubt that he’ll nail it. That’s just what Ryan Gosling does, especially when it comes to anything comedy-related.

If you haven’t seen The Nice Guys, what are you even doing? Go watch it right now. It’ll brighten up your Monday.

In lieu of that, if you want to see more of Gosling’s comedic chops in shorter form, check out this SNL sketch that rivals Shane Gillis’ unaired “Emu LiMu and Doug” parody in its hilarity. And beyond that, just remember: You are Kenough.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock