In a fast-moving digital world where catchphrases and memes disappear 20 minutes after they’re declared cool, it must be especially frustrating to be Kanye West. It has now been two months since he crashed Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards, but the rest of the media world refuses to let West forget about it. West has apologized to Swift (both in public on national television and in a private phone conversation) and stayed out of the public eye since that fateful night at Radio City Music Hall, but it seems like any time anybody has an awards show, it crops back up again. In fact, getting interrupted during an awards show moment is now simply called “getting Kanye’d.”
Case in point: On last night’s Country Music Association Awards show, co-hosts Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley were in the middle of a bit when they were interrupted by Grand Ole Opry legend Little Jimmy Dickens, who stepped up to the microphone and said, “I’ll let you finish later. I know you had a nice video and all, but Taylor Swift made the best video of all time. Of all time!”
Just a few weeks ago, Katy Perry got into the act while she was hosting the MTV Europe Music Awards. During the announcement of the nominees for Best Urban Video, Perry dropped in once Kanye’s name was announced and said, “I’mma let you finish, but this is the best awards show interruption of all time. Of all time!”
And a mere week after Kanye stormed his way into infamy, he was the butt of a handful of jokes at the Emmys, including Justin Timberlake slipping “I’mma let you finish” a speech and actor Ken Howard saying, “I will make my speech as brief as possible in the hope that it won’t be interrupted by a congressman or a rapper.”
In the wake of the initial incident, Kanye’s visit to the stage became an incredible photo meme that still refuses to die and also crossed paths with the Joe Wilson “You lie!” incident (which is almost entirely forgotten by the rest of the world).
And it’s not like Kanye invented the idea of crashing awards shows. Who could forget Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Rage Against the Machine bassist Tim Commerford, “Soy Bomb” or any of the other legendary stage crashers? Kanye West’s legacy as a producer and performer was already in tact, but now it looks like he’ll have “The Kanye” at the top of his resumé for a while.