Last night, CeeLo Green attended the 59th annual Grammy Awards, but it wasn’t a performance or speech that made him the talk of the night, it was his costume.
Green used the night to debut his new alter-ego, Gnarly Davidson. Part of the alter-ego includes Green wearing an all-gold costume and gold paint across his face. In the photo below, it’s also evident that Green is wearing some kind of prosthetic on his face to accentuate the top of his head, giving him a villainous appearance.
It’s unclear just who Gnarly Davidson is supposed to be — or who he’s based on — but between the face prosthetics, the all-gold costume and the undeniably ‘50s and ‘60s-inspired sci-fi take the costume seems to be based on, people were quick to make comparisons to other popular characters across gaming, film and television.
There were references to the Overseer mask from Dishonored, C-3PO from Star Wars and the inquisitors from The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, among many, many more.
Cee-Lo Green doing his best Cromulon impression the header! Ah well gnarls "I like what you got, good job" pic.twitter.com/mN1DMTSSUZ— Dan (@danm19891999) February 13, 2017
Why Cee-Lo Green look like the lego version of C-3PO pic.twitter.com/7WQNx3Agc2— J (@lionizejay) February 13, 2017
One of the most common jokes that made it on Twitter throughout the night was referring to Gnarly Davidson as the final boss in a video game. Although Davidson doesn’t look like an specific homage to a final boss, there are characters from various games that fit the general mold, including the Gold Golem from Borderlands 2 or the Gold-Masked Fukoshi from Shin Megami Tensei. Both can be seen in the images below.
Green first unveiled his alter-ego a couple of weeks ago, providing an exclusive shot of his character to hip-hop magazine XXL. Green told XXL new music would be on the way from the alter-ego (think the Slim Shady to Eminem), but gave a little insight into what his character’s persona would be.
“I’m actually…BETTER! Than you… than everyone,” Green wrote in the caption that accompanied the photo. “A karmikaze upon you! Vengeance is mine sayeth GNARLY DAVIDSON. P.S. TECHNOLOJESUS saves.”
It’s still unclear if Green is taking Davidson seriously himself, but people online didn’t care about that. Instead, it became a never ending stream of both obvious and lesser known references from every corner of the sci-fi community.
I see CeeLo really dug the Overseers from the first Dishonored. pic.twitter.com/kIq0GBqrUO— TJ Denzer (@JohnnyChugs) February 13, 2017
Cee-Lo Green looks like Lieutenant Worf if he won the lotto pic.twitter.com/DXFFosfKV5— Max Anderson (@PeadeyMclovin) February 13, 2017
Green has yet to comment on the costume — or the public’s reaction to it — but the artist did leave the award show ceremony early because he didn’t win anything. That’s not particularly newsworthy in and of itself, but Green’s final moment on the red carpet seems to sum up his attitude about the entire evening, memes and all.