Emmys: Alan Menken aims for the elusive EGOT

Posted by · 3:14 pm · June 19th, 2013

Earlier this month, as Kris reported, Cyndi Lauper got herself one Oscar away from joining the elite club of EGOT winners — those over-achieving individuals who have managed to win competitive Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards over the course of their careers. It is, needless to say, a pretty rare achievement: Scott Rudin became the most recent EGOTist with a Grammy win last year.

With only the Emmys left to unfold this year, however, the EGOT club could welcome one new member before 2013 is out: Alan Menken. The 63-year-old composer, best known and loved for his musical contribution to the Disney animation revival of the late 1980s and early 1990s, already has multiple Oscars and Grammys to his name, and took his first Tony last year for the Broadway musical “Newsies.” Now he stands to add an Emmy to his groaning mantelpiece, with a song written for ABC alien-themed sitcom “The Neighbors.”

Like the Oscars, the Emmys have a Best Original Song category, and Menken’s composition “Sing Like a Larry Bird” is angling for a nomination. The song, a Broadway showtune pastiche in a similarly parodic vein to his Oscar-nominated work on “Enchanted,” is a jaunty celebration of the Great White Way’s charms from an extra-terrestrial perspective. You can check it out below. Menken co-wrote the tune with lyricist Glenn Slater; their other collaborations include the film “Tangled,” which netted Menken his most recent Oscar nomination (and Grammy win) for the song “I See the Light.” (Kris had a lengthy chat with Menken about the film back in 2010.)

To date, Menken has won eight Oscars — more than any living individual — from 19 nominations. He was a virtual fixture at the awards 20 years ago, winning both Best Original Score and Best Original Song for Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” (1989), “Beauty and the Beast” (1991), “Aladdin” (1992) and “Pocahontas” (1995). (The score win for the last of these came in the short-lived Comedy/Musical category.) 

He also has 11 Grammy Awards — mostly in the film and television categories for his Disney-related work, though the “Aladdin” theme “A Whole New World” also won him and his late partner Howard Ashman the award for Song of the Year in 1994, beating Neil Young, Sting, Billy Joel and Jim Steinman. 

An Emmy win would make Menken only the third composer ever to achieve the EGOT, putting him the company of Richard Rodgers and Marvin Hamlisch. Check out the song below — do you think he can do it?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiVWqLUZVtc?rel=0&w=640&h=360]

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