(Writer-director Judd Apatow collaborated with Marc Shaiman on the number “A Comedian at the Oscars” — in which Will Ferrell, Jack Black and John C. Reilly lamented Oscar’s failure to recognize the contributions of comics — for this year’s kudocast. Apatow recounts the process, of which the finale — “Helen Mirren and an Oscar will be coming home with me!” — brought down the house.)
Marc, Adam McKay and I wrote the song “A Comedian at the Oscars” for this year’s ceremony in two hours. We had never met before that day.
Adam and I don’t know anything about music or music composition. We don’t understand how to use music to support comedy. We have no familiarity with the politics of writing comedy for the Oscars, or the needs and demands of a major set piece for Hollywood’s biggest night.
In short, Marc did most all of the work.
We all spouted jokes and fragments of thoughts for two hours as Marc punched and shaped the lyrics while creating the music. It was astounding to watch him in action. He did all this during a short break from writing the music for the film version of “Hairspray.”
Imagine what he could have done if we had three hours.