The Oscars may be entertainment’s most glamorous night, but no awards show is more entertaining than the Kennedy Center Honors. Taped earlier this month, they finally air tonight at 9 p.m. ET on CBS.This year’s honorees include Meryl Streep, Neil Diamond, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, saxophonist and composer Sonny Rollins, and singer and Tony winner Barbara Cook. If finding out how Anne Hathaway ends up in a split while honoring her Devil Wears Prada costar Streep (who is also feted by Robert De Niro, Mike Nichols, Kevin Kline, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, and Tracey Ullman) isn’t enough of a reason to tune in, below are a few others. (Update: Watch the Meryl Streep tribute here and read our recap.)
• Among those honoring Diamond, whose tribute is introduced by John Lithgow: Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles (“Hello Again”), Smokey Robinson (“Sweet Caroline”), Lionel Richie (“I Am… I Said”), Raphael Saadiq (a medley of “You Got Me,” “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” and “Cherry, Cherry”), and, of course, Caroline Kennedy.
• Cook’s tribute is introduced by Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick and includes a medley with performances by Tony winners Patti LuPone (“Loving You” and “Come Rain or Come Shine”), Sutton Foster (“Everybody Says Don’t”), Audra McDonald (“Till There Was You”), and Glenn Close (“Losing My Mind”), as well as Tony nominees Rebecca Luker and Kelli O’Hara (“Will I Ever Tell You” and “Will He Like Me”), young Broadway star Laura Osnes (“This Is All Very New to Me”), and opera soprano Anna Christy (“Glitter and Be Gay”).
• Stephen Colbert introduces the tribute to Yo-Yo Ma, entitled “Symphony for the Eagle,” with help from Elmo. We’ll let CBS describe the amazingness that follows:
• Rollins’ tribute is introduced by Bill Cosby, who shares a story about how he once disappointed a gardener at a hotel in the south of France, who kissed him and mistakenly thought he was Rollins. CBS describes the musical tribute:
No wonder Streep has said her takeaway from the evening was that she wishes she were a musician. Leave it to her to sum up why we love the Kennedy Center Honors, perfectly: