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All the Easter Eggs You Might've Missed in Ryan Gosling's "I'm Just Ken" Performance

Yes, that was a Marilyn Monroe reference.

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

The undisputed highlight of last night's Oscar ceremony was Ryan Gosling's utterly brilliant live performance of "I'm Just Ken." The epic number featured 65 extras, delightful audience interactions, and a whole lot of Kenergy. But it also featured a number of not-so-obvious movie-themed Easter eggs.

If you're a Barbie superfan, you might remember that director Greta Gerwig was inspired by classic films while making the film. In various interviews, she's referenced the likes of Grease, The Red Shoes, All That Jazz, and The Wizard of Oz. In fact, Margot Robbie even revealed that Gerwig invited the cast to weekly screenings of these influential films to help get them prepared for their roles.

So, it should come as no surprise to learn that Gosling's live performance also took plenty of inspiration from Hollywood musicals, too. Here are a few of the Easter eggs you might have missed in the sets, costumes, and choreography of the 2024 Oscars "I'm Just Ken" performance.

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

The most obvious reference in the live performance was the 1953 movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, in which Marilyn Monroe famously performed "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend." Gosling's live rendition of "I'm Just Ken" turned Ken into the perfect himbo, paying tribute to the iconic number by including the same pink stairs, the same male ensemble in striped ties, and even the same pink gloves. A lot of the choreography that sees Gosling interacting with the other Kens on the steps is also a tongue-in-cheek reference.

The Gentlemen Prefer Blondes number was also famously referenced in Madonna's music video for "Material Girl" in 1985.

Dames (1934)

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

Some movie buffs noticed another old movie musical reference — when Gosling began floating amongst a sea of Barbie heads. This was apparently a nod to a famous dance number from the 1934 film Dames, which also used giant floating heads for an eerie, dream-like sequence shot from above.

Grease (1978)

There is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it crotch grab and hip thrust in the choreography for the background Kens, and we can't help but feel it's a little inspired by the iconic movie musical Grease — namely, the song "Greased Lightnin.'" Gerwig has previously referenced Grease as one of her Barbie influences, so it follows that Gosling would use it in his Oscars performance, too.

All That Jazz (1979)

At one point in Gosling's performance, the Kens gather around the actor, creating a circle with their hats and doing jazz hands. This is a classic move from Fosse dance sequences of the '60s and '70s — it can, for instance, be found in All That Jazz, another movie that Gerwig used as inspiration for Barbie.

The Kenergy Of It All

Last but not least, this wasn't exactly a hard-to-spot Easter Egg, but the dance number was infused with westerncore Kenergy, a reference to Ken's horse obsession in the Barbie movie. Unlike the male ensemble in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, the Kens all wore black cowboy hats in an obvious tribute to Gosling's character.

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