Maybe you know him best from School of Rock or the Jumanji films or Nacho Libre or Orange County, or perhaps as or as the voice of a martial artist who is also a panda. Maybe anytime you see him without a guitar in his hands, you think he looks incomplete — because he’s also a rock god. Whatever your preferred role of Jack Black’s is, one thing is clear: The man is a comedic genius. This fact was recognized, underscored, and shouted at tonight’s MTV Movie & TV Awards, where Black received the Comedic Genius Award.
Because he is Jack Black, he walked onstage in a large (kung-fu) panda mask and immediately barrel-rolled his way to the mic, soaking up every last bit of audience glory. The entire moment was soundtracked by some completely correct walk-out music: Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock.” By the time he actually began his speech, he needed a quick breath of fresh air. “I need a little blast of oxygen!” he said.
“Comedic Genius, are you kidding?” he said faux-incredulously. “For what?” Then Black proceeded to list many of his films, the very ones that have made him a legend, as his Tenacious D bandmate Kyle Gass threw up some devil horns while watching in the audience. “I don’t deserve this but I will take it. Thank you MTV! This is for all the School of Rockers out there and for all the Tenacious D-sciples.”
He thanked his wife Tanya Haden and their “two incredible boys” before peacing out, presumably to go hit an oxygen tank just offstage (as he requested).
This electric Black appearance was preceded by a warm and genuine introduction from Awkwafina, who called him “a guy that makes us laugh ’til we cry” and emphasized his rock-god bona fides, his status as both a gamer and a “facial-hair aficionado,” and, perhaps most sweetly, “one of the nicest guys on the planet.” After seeing him enter amid flame and loud guitars to an electrified audience, you’d be inclined to believe it.
Black’s speech also followed a highlight reel of the comic’s entire career — including my personal pick for best-ever Black quote (“Do you want me to get naked and start the revolution?”). The montage was one that would’ve fit right inside a Jack Black-starring vehicle, full of chaotic, manic, and extremely charming and seemingly never-ending energy.
Of course, nothing was more energetic and bursting with life than seeing the man himself onstage shouting out the folks who helped get him there.
The 2022 MTV Movie & TV Awards are airing live from the Barker Hangar in L.A. right now on MTV, with the Movie & TV Awards: UNSCRIPTED to follow. Find all the winners here.