Ryan Gosling’s White Scarecrow visits The All Black The Wiz Live Cast.
The Wiz Live!, NBC’s singing and dancing special based on The Wiz (which itself was adapted from that HBO series, I think), was a huge success. The Twitter response was generally positive, and over 11 million viewers tuned in. That’s much higher than last year’s mockable-yet-still-boring Peter Pan. Aspointed out by Variety, “The Wiz Live! fared especially well in markets with large African-American populations,” including Baltimore and Atlanta. It’s almost as if people like entertainment that isn’t the whitest thing ever.
There were a few dumb-dumbs who didn’t appreciate the all-black cast, though, including one Twitter user who wrote, “So @nbc show #TheWizLive has an all black cast. There sure would be quite an uproar if it was an all-white cast,” and another, “I just learned there is a black version of The Wizard of Oz called The Wiz – how is this not racist?” Maybe they’ll enjoy SNL‘s version, where Ryan Gosling’s stumbling Scarecrow finds himself in East Oz.
Gosling gives a fantastically committed performance — his Ray Bolger impression is really something — which almost makes up for the mediocrity of the jokes. (Sasheer Zamata telling Gosling “DON’T” when he tries to touch her hair was the best moment.) I would, however, be totally fine with SNL ending more sketches with everyone singing “Ease on Down the Road.”