While Michael Keaton has earned heaps of praise and an Academy Award nomination for his darkly dramatic turn in Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman, we will never forget that most of the star's career has been dedicated to work in comedy. Fortunately, he hasn't left these skills behind, and they suited him quite well last night while appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, specifically performing scenes from Birdman as written by children.
It's pretty clear than the children writing these little skits really stayed focused on the superhero movie angle that the Birdman title suggests - but did you really expect them to write a scene featuring an actor turned director preparing for a stage production of Raymond Carver's What We Talk About When We Talk About Love? That being said, each of these little skits is funny for its own particular reasons. It's very easy to believe that these were actually written by kids, as it's actually kind of hard to imagine adults thinking on this kind of level.
While I definitely have an appreciation for the Birdman story of love at first sight with Birdwoman, and the tale of Birdman revealing his true identity to his son, I must admit that for me it's the first skit performed that can be crowned as the best one - mostly because of just how weird it is. For most of the skit we are led to believe that it is Birdman's beak that is the source of his power, but then there is that odd turn at the end where it turns out that all of Birdman's gifts can be attributed to his wings - which can be picked up at your local Walmart or Target. It's a perfect punchline.
Funny as this bit is, I do wonder what the results would have been if the Tonight Show had given the authors behind these scenes were given the full title of the film: Birdman: or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). I imagine that most of the kids would just completely ignore the added subtitle, having zero clue what most of the words meant, but I also wonder if maybe there's any chance they would have strayed away from the superhero theme and gone in a different direction with their ideas.
Which of the three skits did you think was the best? Answer in the comments below, and head over to Page Two to watch a trailer for what an adult-made Birdman movie would look like...
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.