Saturday, January 27, 2007
Then, when I met him and I found Petey loved Social Drinking as much, if not more (If that's possible.) than I did, well, it was a match made in Heaven. That his dreamy-blue eyes made him almost as pretty as me only cemented my adoration of him. (Noel Coward said he was so pretty that he seemed to be "Florence of Arabia.")
And then there's his voice, as distinctive as my own, and so musical, I could listen to him read Delores Delgado's autobiography and enjoy it. (Before you go shifting through Amazon.com looking for Delores's worthless memoirs, I should say that that was a hypothetical reference. That friendless cow never wrote a word in her life, apart from all the libelous Mary K. Bilge she invented about me and then sent to all the gossip and scandal rags over the years. Honestly. She kept saying I'd had an affair with her husband, when they were only still married in her eyes, and those of The Church and The Law, as if they counted for anything.)
A couple years ago the academy gave Petey one of those Honorary Lifetime Achievement Oscars. Now non-competition Oscars are the awards they give to people who actually deserve awards but haven't thought to buy one, the way the winners do. One has to translate what they actually mean. For instance, The Irving Thalberg Award is what any normal TV show would call a "Lovely Parting Gift." The Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (And for those of you who don't know, Jean Hersholt was actually a man, though why he called himself "Jean" I'll never know.) is really the "Sexually Ambiguous, Bleeding-Heart Liberal, Tree-Hugger Award."
The "Lifetime Achievement Award" is really the "Next Year's Obituary Montage Award". You get up, take the award, everyone says how well and how amazingly-lifelike you look, and then, three or four months later, you keel over and they bury you. It's Hollywood's Last Rite of Passage. Bobby Altman, whose former heart I received when we had our mutual heart transplants a decade back, got it right last year. In February he picked up his award. Everyone said he looked great. His Netflix rentals skyrocketed for two weeks. And then in November, he checked out, and caught the Last Train to Darksville.
But Petey, lifelong maverick that he is, got it wrong. He picked up his Lifetime-Achievements-Are-Over Award a few years ago now. Everyone lied through their teeth, saying he looked great when he actually looks closer to my age than his own. But then he not only neglected to die, but he's gone on to give yet another brilliant film performance and rack up another normal nomination. The nerve!
Now understand, I don't want Petey to die. I adore him. There's nothing more fun than going out drinking with Petey in Dublin, and waking up in Leningrad (The vodka in Leningrad is superb!), except maybe getting gang-banged by the Wayans Brothers. (All except that troll Marlon!) But The Lifetime Achievement Oscar is supposed to be an advance obituary you get to attend vertically. If you can then expire in The Press Tent, that would be just peachy. You're not supposed to then go on and take nominations away from Living Actors.
Really Petey, take the hint from your previous nominations; they're not going to give it to you. You're too good. You keep reminding them of how an actor should look and sound and act and behave. Will losing to Forest Whitaker in 2007 be any more fun than losing to that Master Thespian Cliff Robertson was 39 years back in 1968?
You know, if you'd stop giving performances that are so much incredibly more brilliant than everyone else's, maybe they would give you one. It's "Best Performance by an Actor", not "Best Actor". The Academy logic is: it's a much greater achievement for a lousy actor, like say John Wayne, to give a passable performance, than for a Great Actor like yourself to give yet another great performance. "Oh Peter O'Toole was incredibly magnificent and moving again? Ho hum. what else is new?"
Of course, this year we have Peter O'Toole and Helen Mirrin both nominated. I still have a DVD of their memorable performances in Caligula. I hope that their nominee's-past-performances-montage includes clips of them in that memorable skin-flick. "Here's a look at the previous performances of Helen Mirrin, nominated for playing Queen Elizabeth." and then we see Malcolm MacDowell actually performing genuine cunnilingus on her in Caligula. Then, to show Peter's distinguished career, we again get to see him with Malcolm and Sir John Guilgud in togas, walking-and-talking just like in an Aaron Sorkin show, except they're walking past couples butt-fucking. That's entertainment!
Imagine, they could have Malcolm present their awards, and finally have that Caligula Reunion Show that everyone's been asking for, for the last 35 years.
Malcolm: "Helen darling, here's your Oscar. Where would you like it lodged?"
Helen: "I'm sure you remember the way in, Malc."
It could be quite a show this year. At least three of the nominated songs actually have melodies, which is up from last year. Who's hosting? Judy Tenuta? Pee-Wee Herman? Oh wait, I remember now. Carrot Top! I can't wait.
I understand that the Queen, clueless-as-always, hasn't got the nomination concept straight in her mind, and thinks that she's been nominated for Best actress. Since in England, if The Queen is nominated for an award, she gets it, period, she is assuming that the nominations are some sort of Hollywood Honors List, so she's actually working on her Royal Acceptance Address to the Nation, which will be transmitted via satellite to the Kodak Theater, and be projected on a huge flat-screen TV behind Carrot Top, in a vain attempt to make him seem entertaining. Was The Queen in Caligula, or am I mixing her up with John Hurt - again?
The irony is that Best Actress awards are given to women for displaying emotions, which rules the Queen out categorically, since she's dedicated her life to never displaying any human emotion. The entire Royal Family, the Saxe-Coburgs, a.k.a. the "Windsors," aspire to be Vulcans, only they don't have pointed ears, or indeed, any point at all.
(Can you imagine what that old icebag was like during sex? "We are not aroused!")
I'm afraid Prince Charlie will never wear The Crown. Assuming the Queen ever does die, which I wouldn't make a large bet on, she could so easily be replaced by one of Disney's audio-animatronic figures, and never have any danger left of showing a trace of humanity. In fact, the substitution may have already been made, years ago. Did the Queen Mother die, or just break down?
I would love to see the Queen subjected to the usual treatment afforded the winners. Can't you see it now?
Generic Disembodied voice: "Accepting the award for lowly commoner Helen Mirrin, is Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II."
The Queen: "To My Loyal Subjects around the Empire, I mean world, and Mr. Carrot Top, Good Evening. I would like to tha---"
[ORCHESTRA PLAYS LOUDLY.]
Yes, you have to love the way that the one class of people they definitely do not want to hear a word from during the Oscar Awards is the people being honored. "You're great! You're brilliant! We worship you! Now shut up and go away!" After all, they have to keep time free for Celine Dion to sing It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp, and for the Apocalyto Snuff Ballet dance number, and the comic, If Mozart Wrote The Magic Flute in Hip-Hop Style medley, performed by a flock of tone-deaf rappers in formal Laker jerseys, not to mention Carrot Top's comic riffs.
Thank Heaven no one's ever given me a Lifetime Achievement Award, although at 109, just being alive is an achievement, my Life Achievement.
Good luck Petey. And win or lose, drop by after the ceremony for a drink or 50. Just don't bring Sir Judi Dench along. That woman never lets you forget that she's already won an Oscar for playing Queen Elizabeth. Hmmm. Maybe that's where I made my mistake, not that I would want one of those meaningless trinkets. But maybe I should have played queens, instead of marrying them.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Ethel Merman was another of his wives. Once on The Match Game, that sexy beast Gene Rayburn asked Ethel, "You were married to Ernest Borgnine for an hour or two weren't you?"
Ethel replied, "It was twenty-five minutes. And they were the longest twenty-five minutes of my entire life!" What could I possibly add to praise like that?
So Happy Birthday Ernie. And my Longdead Companion, the Headless Indian Brave, has a message for you from Ethel on The Other Side: "Dearest darling Ernie, fuck you."
Only Ethel is loud enough to be heard, even from beyond the grave.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Now I know that some people will cavil that I was not nominated simply because I was not in a movie last year, and indeed, have not appeared in a movie since 1969. Long, long ago, I might have accepted this argument, but the fact is that between the creation of the Oscars in 1928 and my retirement in 1969, I appeared in dozens of movies, and was never nominated for my work in any of them. The pattern is clear: the jealousy of today's Academy voters is as vicious as it was 79 years ago. I am being snubbed, like Dreamgirls. In fact, I am the original Dreamgirl. Am I supposed to believe that Helen Mirrin and Sir Judi Dench are better actresses than I simply because they can act?
(Actually, since I have Robert Altman's former heart beating beneath my breasts, and as he was generally believed to have directed from his heart, it could be argued that my heart has an honorary Oscar. However, the Altman Family have so far refused to hand it over to me, despite my heart being the sole part of Bobby that is still living. They even claim that, since his heart transplant was before the Academy gave him his award, that it was his new heart that won. This is clearly insane. Bob Newhart, genius though he is, has never even been nominated for an Oscar. Litigation is pending. I will not have my organs slighted, even my second-hand ones.)
And you quality freaks, who claim that my record of 79 consecutive years without a nomination reflects the lack of quality in my work, puh-lease. Wake up and smell the moonshine. Quality and Oscars, if not mutually exclusive, are certainly unrelated. Let's look at the record.
John Wayne won an Oscar.
Charleton Heston won an Oscar.
Joan Crawford won an Oscar.
Jane Wyman won an Oscar for a role for which she never even bothered to learn her lines. (That untalented hag Delores Delgado almost won this Oscar, but fortunately, I was presenting the award, and I had sense enough to rip up the card with the winner's name on it, and give the award to Miss Wyman instead. And that Wyman bitch has never even thanked me! The least she could have done would have been to invite me to the White House once or twice during her 8 years as First Lady. It would have been a refreshing change to have slept on Lincoln's bed. Abe always rendezvoused with me in my dressing room at Ford's Theater, though he stood me up the last time. Anyone know why? Barring a White House soiree, she could have given me a recurring guest role on Falcon Crest. Every other has-been she knew got guest roles. She even had Cesar Romero play one of her husbands. Now that took some acting! Was I ever married to Cesar, or did he just have an affair with one or more of my husbands? I can't recall.)
Steve Reeves was never even nominated for an Oscar.
In 1985, they didn't even bother giving Best Supporting actor to an actor. They gave it to one Haing S. Ngor, who was some kind of doctor, a chiropodist or podiatrist or something. They don't call the award "Best Supporting Proctologist," although many of it's winners have done some dilettante dabbling in the area, and all of them have worked under assholes.
Back during World War II, they gave Best Supporting Actor to my Japanese houseboy, Hisato. For Heaven's sake, he wasn't an actor; he was help!
The Greatest Show on Earth won Best Picture.
Brokeback Mountain lost Best Picture.
Alfred Hitchcock never won Best Director.
Ray Harryhausen never won Best Special Effects.
In 1976, Logan's Run & the Dino Delaurentiis version of King Kong both won Best Special Effects.
In 1977, Close Encounters of the Third Kind did not.
The original King Kong did not.
Let's look at this year:
As everyone has pointed out, Dreamgirls was not nominated for Best Picture, despite having more nominations than any other movie.
Letters From Iwo Jima was nominated for Best Picture, the first foreign-language film so nominated since Olivier's Hamlet.
Clint Eastwood was nominated for Best Director for Letters From Iwo Jima. In 1944, we'd have shot him as a traitor.
Eddie Murphy was nominated for his work in Dreamgirls only to make up for being snubbed for The Nutty Professor.
Mark Wahlberg was nominated. The most impressive acting he's ever done turned out to be a prosthetic, back in Boogie Nights. Now that prosthetic was my idea of a Best Actor!
Jennifer Hudson was nominated for Best Actress. I thought America voted her off that movie. I think the TV movie of Fantasia Burrito's life showed us all who the True acting talent is.
Borat was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. Excuse me? I loved Michael Richards's little home movie as much as I would any movie with giant close-ups of testicles, but the movie was improvised! Did those college boys sue him for showing them reading prewritten dialogue advocating slavery? Why didn't they just follow Bette Davis's example, and demand a rewrite? and just what the hell was it adapted from? The Borat novel? The Borat stageplay? The Borat T-shirt?
Further, writing nominations were given to Letters From Iwo Jima & Notes on a Scandal. Come on, letters, notes, and improv? How about screenplays? Admittedly, writing is The Least Important Aspect of a movie, but if you're going to have a nomination for "Best Screenplay," it should go to movies that have screenplays. I'd like to read the Borat screenplay.
The Most Important Aspect of a Movie is, obviously, Glamour! But are there Oscars for Best Glamour? No! If there were, I'd have more Oscars than Walt Disney.
Borat was not nominated for Best Documentary Feature. Talk about "Inconvenient Truths"! Maybe if Borat had been cheated out of his rightfully-elected Presidency by Republican Criminals on the Supreme Court (Talk about irony!) and blatant corruption and nepotism at the highest levels of the Florida State Government, the academy would show him some respect too.
Click & Apocalypto are both nominated for an Oscar. Does anyone on earth besides Mel Gibson and Adam Sandler want to see these movies advertised as "Oscar Winners"? Is Click anyone's idea of quality movie making?
Oscars! Feh! I spit on the Oscars.
Unless they ask me to present, of course.
Friday, January 19, 2007
Touché, Suzanne Somers!
Last week in this space, I took the credit, I mean blame, for accidentally setting Malibu on fire by lighting a match after my Little Toot, which was a hit children’s song for The Andrews Sisters but a total disaster for me, which caused the inadvertent destruction of one of Suzanne Somers's houses, destroying dozens of unsold Thigh-Masters, and thus liberating a host of Butt-Slaves. (And who doesn't love a good Butt-Slave?) I apologized, but that apparently wasn’t enough for the vengeful Mrs. Hamil.
On Wednesday afternoon of this week, I woke up outside my magnificent movie star mansion, Morehead Heights, mounted firmly astride (Well, not really all that firmly anymore.) awe-inspiring Tumescent Tor, at the northwest end of Malibu, deep within my overwhelmingly complex hedge-labyrinth. This in and of itself isn’t really unusual. The list of weird places where I have woken up is longer than the extended DVD edition of The Lord of the Rings. It’s a relief when it’s someplace as close as my backyard, although finding one’s way out of my hedge-labyrinth can be quite a challenge. I go through Japanese hedge-trimmers faster than cases of vodka, which is frustrating, since I know they’re all still in there somewhere, probably setting up their own society, reverting to savagery to survive, like Morlocks, or the Bush Cabinet. And we’re still looking for Shelley Long, who wandered into the labyrinth seven years ago and hasn’t been seen since, although we are the only ones still looking.
What was unusual was that I was covered in snow! Now I have been accused of many, many things in my life. In fact there was an ugly trial back in 1947, which you can find thoroughly documented in my nearly-praised autobiography, My Lush Life (Chapter 22, My Kampf), as well as in Humphrey Brigand’s best-selling account When Justice Was Glad to Be Blind: The Trial of Tallulah Morehead, The Nearly-Living Legend, published in 1950, but still in print today. But the one thing I have never been accused of is being frigid. Only the high alcohol content of my blood kept me from freezing to death. Saved by booze, once again!
One of the primary reasons we live in Southern California is that it does not snow here, yet on Wednesday, January 17, 2007, it snowed in Malibu. I guess Dubya was right about Golden Global Warming. Barely over a week earlier, Malibu was on fire. There’s no question what was going on here: The Revenge of Suzanne Somers! I’ve had some freezing stares and cold shoulders from jealous women before, but Suzanne is in a class by herself. She clearly intended to freeze me solid. Well Suzanne, you are foiled again! My blood is the best anti-freeze on earth. Maybe you should try drinking to excess yourself. After all, nothing exceeds like excess.
There may have been a blizzard all day Tuesday for all I know. I was waking up from the Golden Globe Awards Monday Night. The Golden Globes, an award named after my chest, is the only award ceremony I routinely attend since, unlike the meaningless Oscars, you can drink all you want all through the show. How well I remember drinking Lucille Ball under the table at the Golden Globes every year, back in the 60s, no small feat in itself.
After the show, having been intrigued by Sasha Baron Cohen’s erotic description of the special charms of his Borat co-star Azamat’s formerly private parts (Well, just how private are parts that have been splayed across the mini-screens of America’s multiplexes?), I invited Azzie to join me for a vodka and a chaser of rancid air, and the next thing I know, I’m lying in my hedge-labyrinth, and my own legendary Golden Globes are now Golden Snow Globes.
I tried calling up the Hollywood Foreign Press (Which was exactly what Azzie had given me, a Hollywood Foreign Press) to find out what happened, only to learn that Warren Beatty was still making his Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech. Really Warren, the speech isn’t supposed to last a lifetime! Warren only got that award because Bob Denver died before he could receive it, and the Hollywood Foreign Press settled for third best. Bob of course, played Stanley Kowalski to my Blanch Dubois years ago on tour, and he was an actor of unique talents. Every astonished critic who saw our production agreed, his Stanley was like no other before or since. No one ever accused Bob of imitating Brando. Max Shulmann showed he understood where True Talent lay when he billed Warren Beatty below Bob in the Dobie Gillis credits each week.
I was puzzled by the multiple awards given to that British trollop Helen Mirrin. They gave her two different awards for playing the same old queen? She gets one award for playing Queen Elizabeth at the start of her reign, back in the 17th Century, and a second for playing her in the 20th Century, celebrating the death of Lady Di? I don’t get it. At least when I marry a queen, and I’ve married a bunch of them, it’s always a different queen each time. By the way, why was everyone so surprised at the death of Princess Di? I always thought her name was a dead giveaway.
I’m afraid it is customary for me to sleep in until mid-afternoon these days. Back when I was making movies, I was an early riser, but as I haven’t made a movie since 1969, I’ve developed the habit of sleeping in until my story comes on each afternoon.
But now, I may have no reason to get up any more at all. NBC has announced that they have canceled Passions, my favorite soap oprah, and The Most Realistic Show on Television. Life will not seem worth living without a daily screenfull of shirtless Lopez-Fitzgerald boys.
I particularly loved this show because it stars - no, starred - Juliet Mills. She is my heroine! Oh it’s not her acting. Get real. That whole Mills Family was vastly overrated as actors anyway. And why on earth did they insist on calling Juliet and Haley "The Mills Brothers"? That makes no sense to me at all, unless they were hiding a Distasteful Secret. Did Walt Disney unknowingly employ the world's youngest tranny?
No, the reason I worship Juliet Mills, former star of Mary Poppins, The Sit-Com, is because she has been married for decades to the gorgeous stud Maxwell Caulfield. There’s nothing I approve of more than elderly actresses being married to young, handsome hunks decades their junior, except drinking to excess of course. My own most-recent husband, at least as far as I can recall, Trevor Berman, was some 78 years younger than myself. And although that marriage failed, it did not fail because of our age difference. It failed because of his habit of having sex with men. The soles of his feet were more sunburned than mine.
Trevor also talked me into doing embarrassing product endorsements. Honestly, me endorsing milk? The last time I drank a glass of milk was back in the 19th Century. I was in my first of three (so far) infancies at the time, and I still spat that fetid fluid out. And then there was that mortifying slogan: "Drink Tallulah Morehead’s Milk, Fresh Sucked Daily." My poor, sagging Golden Globes haven’t dispensed that mucusie muck since my daughter Pattycakes stopped breast-feeding back in 1938. I was udderly humiliated. And my milk was 70-proof.
It was odd that I was able to breast-feed at all, since my daughter was adopted. I wasn’t even married at the time. It seems that my devotion to my poor daughter, who looked a lot like my revolting mother, to whom she was not related, and who grew to be more than six feet tall, and to have an enormous nose, not unlike the prominent proboscis of the over-six-foot tall character actor C. Aubrey Smith, with whom I co-starred in the classic romantic-fantasy-adventure HER! some nine months before someone other than me gave birth to Patty, caused me to experience the rare medical condition "Sympathetic Lactation", which made my breasts give what is called Irish Milk, until the doctor made me stop breast-feeding her, as it was damaging her developing infant liver, the big baby.
But I still hold out hope that I may yet find my dream hunk, and live happily ever after, just like Juliet Mills, and of course, Liza Minnelli.
Editor's Note: Art Buchwald died Wednesday. He was a giant in a world of ants, an inspiration to me, and he died when we need him more than ever. I would write something pithy and amusing about his passing, except that nothing I could write would be worthy of him, nor as funny as his own writings on his mortality. Art was an artist. He will be missed, but never replaced.
- Douglas McEwan
Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Tony however, is now looking to make a career out of "Covering" all of Zero Mostel's old roles. Look for his Psudelous in A No-Longer-Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, in which Tony will at least seem convincingly Italian, and then to replace Mel Gibson as Tevye in Fiddler on a Hot Tin Roof, which my devoted fans know I appeared in the movie of.
My thanks to constant reader Jeffrey Swanson for his suggestion that, in future, I cut back to just two beans. Perhaps he is wise. However, a discovery I made on awakening this afternoon suggests that the problem is not the amount of beans, but the source. When I awoke an hour ago, I found I simply could not turn over onto my back, a most alarming and unusual condition, given that I have spent the best part of my life, and I mean The Best Part, on my back. Struggling over to a mirror, I discovered the disturbing trouble.
There is an enormous beanstalk growing out of my butt! That's the last time I trade Rosie O'Donnell to Donald Trump for some "Magic Beans"!
Tuesday, January 9, 2007
I happened to see this inspiring production, without question the greatest movie ever made, or it would be if I had played Dean Monroe's role, because while in The Big Crab Apple, I revisited the site of my original nuptials out of a sudden attack of what I believe was nostalgia though it was hard to tell as he was wearing a ski mask, and BB5 happened to be playing. The clientele, by coincidence exclusively male, although this was not immediately apparent, respected the privacy of this elderly lady, as everyone gave me a wide birth while I was there. Indeed, if I sat down next to anyone, they would immediately move several rows away.
This was even more surprising as privacy didn't seem to be a high priority with this audience, which was generally engaging in behavior usually confined to in-private, and many were taking advantage of what must be the most lax dress code on record. Truth be told, in some rows there were performances going on that far outstripped the action on the screen, and I do mean outstripped. Yet even though all over the auditorium relationships advanced from Total Strangers to Intimate Friends to Passionate Lovers to Bitter Exes sometimes in under ten minutes - the relationships sped up by dispensing with time-wasting irrelevancies like names or conversation - nonetheless, I was left utterly unmolested. How rude!
I must admit that the onscreen storyline, in which a romantic star is given a backstage party that truly stretches his talent by a gaggle of dark-hued crew members of outstanding talents, did remind me only too well of my own wedding night after the ceremony in that very theater, when, after learning that my virginal husband F. Emmett Knight did not see a wedding ceremony as sufficient justification for giving up his cherry, I went off with the black gentlemen who had born my husband to the alter on a litter, and had a proper improper party.
While on The Great White Way I also stopped off to see the stage show everyone has been raving about for several years now, Mel Brooks's The Producers. I have to say that I utterly fail to see what all the excitement is about. The show was terrible, and tickets were surprisingly easy to acquire, this despite the literally unbelievable performance of the show's star, Tony Danza. Here we have an actor born to play Max Bialystock, except for being Italian, not Jewish, and pathetic rather than funny, and talent-free rather than a comic genius. Okay, he couldn't really sing or dance or act or get laughs, but he remembered the majority of his lines, and he had a lot of them!
Unfortunately, yesterday I breakfasted with a three-bean salad. Normally one might like a little more on one's salad plate than just three beans, but you must remember that I had to leave room for my wake-up vodka. Now, as it happens, beans sometimes leave me a teensy bit gassy. I'm afraid that I passed more than just a plethora of street-hustlers in Times Square. These things happen when you're less than 5 months from being 110. The polite thing to do is ignore it.
Well, New York City still earns it's reputation as The Rudest City in the World, because if you turned on your television news yesterday, all anyone in Manhattan was talking about was the "Horrible, gassy smell all New York is suffused with," as one particularly rude anchorwoman put it. My derrierre was even accused of being a terrorist. Last evening, everyone from Jon Stewart to Jay Leno were making rude jokes about my little toot; like none of them have ever broken a mite bit of wind.
As it happened, my slip came just as I was getting in the taxi for the airport to return home to Morehead Heights in California, so I never smelt it myself. The odor didn't reach my aquiline nostrils until I was in another cab, taking me up Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu to my palatial movie star mansion late yesterday afternoon. Once I got a whiff of the last of my three-bean odor, I did what any well-brought-up lady would do: I opened a window and lit a match.
Suzanne Somers, I'm terrible sorry. Who knew all those leftover Thigh-Masters were so flammable?