Leave it to Miley Cyrus – she of twerking and prominent tongue displays – to bring a bit of blue material to a stately, PBS-produced special filmed at the Kennedy Center.
The pop princess offered one of the edgier bits on Sunday night, when comedian Bill Murray accepted his Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Cyrus, one of the performers paying tribute to Murray, along with David Letterman, Aziz Ansari and Jimmy Kimmel, began performing a rendition of “My Way,” but stumbled on the lyrics and apologized with an f-bomb. “Sorry guys, I f***ed it up,” she said, according to our colleague Peggy McGlone.
One might have thought it was just fatigue – the singer had spent the previous day enthusiastically knocking on doors for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. But she offered another, more candid excuse for the flub: She was, she said, “too stoned.”
Murray, though, didn’t mind a bit. He called for a do-over from his box, and was delighted as producers gave the Paul Schafer-led Sinatra tune a second try. “This is happening right now in Washington, D.C., the 51st state in the union,” Murray yelled, lending his support not just to his pal Cyrus, but also, apparently, to the cause of D.C. statehood.
After a little banter with Schafer, the second go was smoother, with Cyrus delivering the tweaked lyrics (“Bill did it his way”) without stopping.
Cyrus, who appeared in Murray’s Netflix special “A Very Murray Christmas,” is a favorite of the veteran funnyman. “Miley Cyrus really just blew everyone away,” Murray told reporters about her performance in the variety-show-style holiday musical. “I had no idea that she was that good, that talented.”
The Mark Twain prize ceremony will be broadcast (the cleaned-up version, we imagine) Friday at 9 p.m. ET on PBS.