YouTube Music Awards: Arcade Fire's Win Butler Pulls a Kanye West (Video)
The frontman's spontaneous stunt spoofed the now-legendary Taylor Swift microphone hijack from the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards.
It wouldn't be an awards show without a spoof of Kanye West's acceptance speech mic steal from Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards -- but not even co-hosts Reggie Watts and Jason Schwartzman would have guessed that West would spontaneously be played by Arcade Fire's Win Butler.
The accolade for YouTube phenomenon (inspiring the most covers on the online platform) was awarded to Swift for her "I Knew You Were Trouble" video, but since she wasn't present to accept the award, a handful of teenage girls who created a fan video accepted the trophy on her behalf. Just after one of the girls asked the audience, "Who loves Taylor Swift?" Butler walked into the shot with his hand up and seized Schwartzman's microphone.
"Not Taylor Swift, I'm gonna let you finish," he said to instant laughter. "Not Taylor Swifts, the YouTube phenomenon of the year was definitely the Harlem Shake. I don't know. No disrespect, but everyone knows that, if you've ever even been on YouTube. So whatever." After praising Baauer's viral sensation, Butler then dropped the microphone on the ground and walked away as the co-hosts and fans laughed.
Schwartzman later dubbed the band frontman "Winye West Butler" and confirmed to reporters that he and fellow co-host Watts knew nothing of the surprises thrown their way all evening. Many of their weekend rehearsals were either canceled or shortened to keep them out of Pier 36 as much as possible, and they simply rolled with the punches throughout the awards show, including digging through decorated cakes for winners' names, getting paint facials from OK Go and picking up babies from Rashida Jones' arms who just would not stop crying.
Besides, Schwartzman told reporters that Butler's height naturally allowed him to borrow his microphone. "When you're next to Arcade Fire, they're so tall, they always feel like they're on a stage, even if we're on the same ground."
Watch the full microphone hijack in the video below: