Monday, September 22, 2008

The Emmys Blow!

If Ken Ehrlich ever tries to produce the Emmy Awards show again, tell Sarah Palin that he's a rogue moose who is teaching birth control and evolution to teenagers, and give her a helicopter and a rifle, because the Emmy Awards show he produced last night has got to be the worst Emmy show ever, and there is a lot of competition for that title.

Right off, hiring five "Reality Show" hosts to host this broadcast was the worst idea in the history of terrible award show ideas. If Allen Carr was still alive, he'd be saying, "Ha! My Snow White sings with Rob Lowe Oscarcast doesn't look so crappy now, does it?" Did you see that opening?

The Horror! The Horror!

Honestly, how smart do you have to be to know better than to hire Howie Mandell --- for anything?

(Full disclosure. Well over a quarter of a century ago, Little Dougie was friends with Howie Mandell. This was back before St. Elsewhere, when Howie was just a struggling stand up comic with a ghastly act. Dougie repents of this association now.)

The show opened with current TV personalities (Or, like Howie, anti-personalities) speaking classic TV catchphrases. Kelsey Grammar did Jack Benny's "Now cut that out." which is just what I said when I learned that Kelsey is giving money to the Republicans, I assume to help make the current economy even worse, prolong the war, and end gay marriage.

(Kelsey has a horrible new movie, called An American Carol, opening next week. It's a conservative screed made entirely by Republicans, and is being sold as a madcap satirical comedy, when it's really just dishonoring Charles Dickens, pissing on all that that notorious social reformer stood for. Avoid it like the plague. If you have a choice between seeing it or The Love Guru, see The Love Guru.)

Oprah Winfrey opened the show, looking disappointed that the Popess of TV wasn't accorded a standing ovation. When she said that TV could get people to buy books, she flashed a look so smug, I wanted to slap her. She ignored the tiresome fact that people are also supposed to read the books they buy. When her joke about the show not running more than a few hours failed to get a laugh from even one person in the massive audience, she laughed at it herself, to let us know it was a joke. It was the only way to tell. Oprah can do many things well. Comedy is not one of them.

And then Oprah destroyed forever whatever trace of respect her judgement has ever accrued, by saying, "And now I leave you in the good hands of your hosts for the evening." Remember, she was referring to Howie Mandell, Tom Bergeron, Jeff Probst, Ryan Seachrest, and Heidi Klum. I'll never trust a word from her mouth again.

All five of these unentertaining idiots came out and said how they had no material, and took a looooonnnnng time to do so. In the past, a funny host would do an amusing comedy monologue here, but these five boobs took an original approach. The guys babbled pointlessly about how they had nothing to say while Heidi, who was in drag (To blend in the with the guys, who were a drag.), stood there silently, thus coming across as the only person on stage you didn't want to shoot - yet. I soon realized that I did not have near enough vodka to get through this ordeal. Then, in a great moment for feminism, William Shatner and Tom Bergeron harassed, attacked, and stripped Heidi. Fortunately, they were running long, so they had to cut the rape. (It had run way too long in rehearsal, while they waited for the 300 year old Shatner to get it up.) Then they introduced Tina Fey and Amy Pohler.

I'm sorry, but Tina Fey and Amy Pohler are comedy goddesses. These five "Hosts" aren't worthy to park their cars or breathe their air. Their intro should have been, "And now, two people who SHOULD be hosting this show instead of us."

Thanks to YouTube and other such Internet entertainment rip-off services, everyone on earth has now seen Tina play Sarah Palin on last week's Saturday Night Live. They are identical twins, only Tina is brilliant, smart and funny, while Palin - ah - isn't. If only Sarah was doing a TV show, and Tina was running for vice president. but then, Tina can't run; she actually knows what the duties of the VP are, and believes in evolution. She's too qualified. Fey and Pohler would be America's Dream Team, and it's not their fault that they had to give Rainn Wilson's Emmy to Jeremy Piven. (Piven needs another Emmy like I need another husband.)

When they returned from commercial, just to class things up, they ran a lengthy Seinfeld clip about masturbation. Of course, the opening segment had clearly shown that the hosts considered masturbation to be entertainment. It can be, but not when it's them doing it.

Apparently Little Dougie has had a sex change he knows nothing of at some point in his life and must have been a little girl as a teenager, because Jeff Probst, who hosts the game show version of LOST, said of Farrah Spigot-Majors: "Including the very sexy poster of Farrah Spigot that every boy had." Little Dougie thought he'd been a little boy, but this is the poster he had in his bedroom:

Well, he admired Brando's acting. (I can't imagine why. I met, rehearsed, and insisted on being raped by Marlon back when I almost played Blanche Dubois in the long-forgotten movie this photo comes from. I'm the one who ripped his shirt off in the first place. But knowing Marlon as I did, Biblically, I can say that that mush-mouthed mumbler was no actor, which is why his career never went anywhere. You can read all about it in my memoirs, My Lush Life.)

Classical Shakespearean actress Teri Hatcher mispronounced the name of Zeljko Ivanek when awarding him an Emmy. In her defense, no one can pronounce Zeljkxo's name. His own mother can not pronounce Zeqlkjox's name. Apparently, when little Mr. Ivanghklzo was born, his mother was obsessed with giving her kid a name that, when placed on a red triple word square in Scrabble, would score in the high four digits. And Teri Hatcher doesn't always pronounce her own name correctly. Saying Zxqejlkome's Ivxadnaotch's name should have been handled by Howie Mandell. After all, on Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Howie played Mr.Mxyztplk, so he has experience with pronouncing the unpronounceable.

And then came Ricky Gervais. All hail Ricky Gervais. The man is hilarious. For five minutes, the show was suddenly funny and entertaining. I thought I'd accidentally changed the channel when I fell off my chaise reaching for the gin, and landed on the remote control. The man is Tina Fey with a penis, and 30 extra pounds.

Ricky ran a clip of his win last year, when they gave his award to Steve Carell who, on The Office, is the American Ricky Gervais. Then, to my lasting embarrassment, he freeze-framed on a giant screen behind him the unforgettable moment last year when I was gang-hugged by Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and Jon Stewart (Stephen King was unavailable.), and Ricky's Emmy was put to an unspeakable use. (That damned angel's wings are sharp!)

Ricky and Steve were the comedy highlight of the whole evening. Please, TV Academy, next year, have Ricky and Steve host, and send all the banter writers home.
Actually, they might just as well have sent the banter writers home anyway, as presenter after presenter complained that their bits got cut (I hate having my bits cut. Especially my naughty bits! Please, just take the chrome studded black leather straps off before passing through my Heavenly doughnut.) because the five hosts ran too long saying nothing. When my new BFF Kathryn Joosten (Another naturally hilarious person.) had her bit cut, I was ready to kill, but settled for a straight-up triple scotch. I would rather watch Kathryn Joosten nap, than listen to anything Howie or Heidi ever has to say.

Conan O'Brian, bless his silly hair and heart, also brought some genuine comedy chops that shamed the hosts. Oh hell, Lauren Conrad of The Hills has comedy chops that shame the hosts, and she hasn't yet mastered walking upright or breathing.

The indestructible cheerleader from Heroes, and some other faceless bimbo, presented Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music, Circus, or Comedy Program, which went to The Colbert Report, for show #4501, beating out The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, for show #13050. Well of course it did. What was The Daily Show thinking submitting show #13050? That episode was a total lox. I tell you, if The Colbert Report had submitted show #1805, and The Daily Show had submitted show #17830, things would have been very different indeed. Maybe next year, they'll wise up.

Why did they cut so many presenters's bits? So Howie and Jeff could do a "Funny" piece on "The Accountants"? Even if you were an accountant, it wasn't funny.

Who was funny was Steve Martin. Actually, anyone named Steve was funny. But it turned out that Steve wasn't on this show. As you know, these shows tend to run long, and as it happened, the 1968 Emmy Awards Show wasn't over yet, entering it's 40th year, and Steve was out there to give Tommy Smothers his 1968 Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy, Variety, Scholastic Sex Education Film, or Pageant award.

Tommy then gave a wonderful, if a bit too halting, speech, that stood out from the evening's other speeches, by being interesting, and actually being about something important. So naturally they tried to stop him before he could make his final point. Apparently, when Tommy said, "There's nothing more scary than watching ignorance in action," although the thought is certainly true, somebody in the control booth thought perhaps he was referencing President Dubya (How could they get that idea?), and if there's one thing NBC can not have during a speech on the importance of Freedom of Speech, it's someone actually exercising Freedom of Speech, so they started sending people out to hurry him up and get him off the stage, to silence the truth (Actually he was making a point about the very nature of "Truth" itself, Talk about
irony!) once again, and Tommy found himself in a familiar position, being censored on Sunday Night TV, this time on a different network. Well, old habits are hard to break. For that matter, old dogs are hard to housebreak.

You perhaps think it was just Tommy running long, and I'm being paranoid? Well I notice the band never played over Howie or Tom or Ryan or Jeff or Heidi, and with them, just saying "Hello." is "Running Long" in my book. (My Lush Life)

Another highlight was Josh Grobin singing a medley of that beloved endangered species: TV show theme songs, and proving himself an impressive mimic in the process, while astonishing America with the unknown fact that The Andy Griffth Show theme song has lyrics. (Did he really sing "Here's a story of a man named Brady, was busy with three boys of his own"? Given what the term "Gettin' busy" means nowadays, and that we now know Robert Reed was gay, this ill-chosen lyric certainly put a whole different spin on that cluster-comedy.)

But please Josh, I know he's available (He's
always available!), but never trot out that grotesque old bore Ed McMahan. The only good thing about Johnny Carson's retiring was that we were supposed to be rid of Ed! Anyway, it's always nice to see a row of pretty chorus girls doing high kicks to Suicide is Painless. (Were you listening to those lyrics, Ed and Howie?)

This was followed by Alec Baldwin presenting the award for Hottest Actress in a Miniseries, Movie, Infomercial, or YouTube Clip, which meant that Sir Judy Dench didn't have a prayer. Laura Linney won as usual, and she should really hire a writer for her acceptance speeches. Right after she insulted someone named Mark Shower (He used to terrify Janet Leigh, which is the other reason Janet didn't show up.) by saying to him, "Mark Shower, you are my ballast..." (Ballast is what you drop on your way up.), she added, "I will look at this for the rest of my life and think of the great experience I had making John Adams." How indiscreet! In Revolutionary War Days, we never humped and told. Ben Franklin's reputation would have been in tatters if we had. Although, as I recall, Johnny Adams was a terrific lay.

And then came George Romero's horror masterpiece: Comedy of the Living Dead. No wait. It was just a Laugh-In cast reunion. Was this still the 1968 Emmys? Since Rowan and Martin are both dead now, they didn't bother to call it Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, although that was the actual show title. You could hear the excitement in the room, as everyone there under the age of 45 collectively said "Huh?"
They trotted out the reanimated remains of Gary Owens, Ruth Buzzi, Joanne Worley, Lily Tomlin, and the non-reanimated remains of the late Alan Sues. Sweet Dick Whittington was snubbed once again, and clearly Goldie Hawn had better things to do. (And I guess George Schlatter wasn't considered worth honoring. Well, he merely invented the show, and ran it for every episode. Fuck him.)

Gary Owens, as per his usual habit, was wearing the painted plastic scalp of a life-size G.I. Joe doll, freshly lacquered, while some graffiti vandal had spray-painted a black mustache and goatee on him. Gary Owens is a friend and a darling man, the sole resident of his own goofy private universe, and I adore him, but really Gary, we all know you're 200 years old. Why have Tom Sawyer blackwash your head before public appearances? There's nothing wrong with some distinguished white hair on a man.

Joanne Worley's appearance was hard to judge hidden inside the wig/hat/Acacia bush that was eating her head. Her face was in there somewhere. She looked like Miss Havisham as played by a very elderly drag queen. Ruth Buzzi and Lily Tomlin both looked not a day older than in their Laugh-In days. I suspect they both have Dorian Gray portraits hidden away in their attics somewhere.

But it was Alan Sues who broke my heart. He looked and sounded like he'd clawed his way out of his grave to be there. Once upon a time, he looked like this:
He was never a sophisticated performer, but he had energy, and strength, and a genuine zany streak, as well as being the gayest sissy funnyman ever to invade every living room in America. Next to Alan Sues, Franklin Pangborn was John Wayne.

No more. Alan's force, his robust comic energy, even his crack timing, all were gone. He appeared frail, bewildered, and sad. Betty White was in better shape, and she's 100! Hell, I'm in better shape, and I'm 110! When he broke out his Uncle Al, The Kiddie's Pal character's catch phrase, "Kids, last night Uncle Al had a lot of medicine." for the very first time, you thought he actually meant real medicine. And he clearly needed more. I was too horrified to laugh. Little Dougie knew this man in his prime, and this fragile animated corpse was like a sick joke version of Alan Sues.

The award they were handing out was Outstanding Comedy, Variety, Music, Dog Show, or School Play, and it went to The Daily Show, who finally had had the sense to submit episode #17830. Jon Stewart's spontaneous display of affection for the cast of Laugh-In was doubtlessly genuine, and certainly classy, but when he began assaulting them, I was alarmed. I was afraid that if he grabbed Alan in a bear hug, that Alan's spine would just snap.

On the other hand, if given a choice, I'm sure that being hugged to death in the arms of a sexy young man like Jon Stewart (Jon, there's an orgasm with your name on it just waiting for you here at Morehead Heights anytime you want to stop by and collect it.) is exactly how Alan would like to go.

Okay, it was funny watching David Boneraz, whose career has been mostly playing extermely sexy vampires, try not to look insulted when co-presenting with The Hills's talent-free Lauren Conrad, who has a smaller brain than a microbe.

But David and that Conrad creature had the honor of presenting the first of three awards to The Woman of the Night, the magnificent Tina Fey. Frankly, Tina Fey and Lauren Conrad do not belong in the same cosmos, let alone on the same stage. Two more opposite pretty women do not exist, unless it's Sarah Palin and Hilary Clinton.

Tina is a golden entity of true magic. I worship her. This event existed to honor her, and how fitting that was.

Martin Sheen showed up on tape for the sole purpose of saying,"Excuse me? Where was MY
West Wing Emmy? Oh, and he also made a lame plea for all people to vote. (for him - for an Emmy.)

Sheen said "Our show was never in any way partisan..." which was one of the funniest lines of the night.
West Wing was a weekly televised rebuke to The Bush Administration. It was a wishful-thinking fantasy for decent people to watch and fantasize "This is what it could be like, if we had a qualified and decent man in the White House, instead of the evil clown who's in there now."

In any event, Marty encouraged everyone to vote, which is wildly irresponsible. Not everyone should vote this year; only people voting for Obama. If you're going to vote for McCain/Palin, do the world a favor and stay home. Hey, there's a Matlock running in ION.

In a brief Dragnet parody, Jeff Probst made you wistful for the dynamic acting chops of Jack Webb. When you can be outacted by Jack Webb, you're dead.

The Outstanding TV Movie, Miniseries, or Street Mime Set nominee Recount won several awards, which ironically put its makers in the weird position of having to be grateful to the Republican crooks who stole the 2000 election and then got away with it scot free. "Ah, gee --- Thanks?"

When Kirk Ellis won for writing the Outstanding TV Movie, Miniseries, Fashion Show, or Disney Theme Park Parade, John Adams, he did something extraordinary and, in the context of this show, revolutionary. He spoke intelligently and articulately about speaking intelligently and articulately. He spoke of the joy of getting to "Talk about a period in our history when articulate men articulated complex thoughts in complete sentences. They used words...." and then he was shut off in mid-sentence as the show rudely cut to commercials.

Hmmm. Could it be that someone thought he was drawing a parallel between presidents like Adams and Jefferson, articulate men who articulated complex thoughts in complete sentences, and our sitting president, an inarticulate dolt who fumbles out simple psuedo-thoughts in rambling, inarticulate fragments, a man incapapble of ad libbing a complete, grammatical independant clause? Was he being censored? Or did they just need more time for Howie Mandell, who was the person on screen when they came back from commercial? Either way: SHAME!

Howie Mandell did a tribute to
M*A*S*H, which, given who was delivering it, was more of an anti-tribute, or time-filler. You know, time Kirk Ellis could have used to finish his intelligent thought. Then they brought out the two people most synonymous with M*A*S*H, Sandra Oh and Patrick Dempsey. Was this show assembled, or just free-associated?

Then out of the
M*A*S*H tent came two more of the mainstays of the old 4077th: Don Rickles and Kathy Griffin. At least it was two people who are actually funny. Griffin was sufficently inspired by the military setting to order the audience to their feet for a frail-looking Rickles. You know Kathy, a standing ovation doesn't mean anything if it isn't spontaneous.

If Rickles was walking weakly, his comic force was not abated, and he killed. Again, one pined for him to have hosted. (Oh please let Don host. No remote trace of pomposity would survive with Rickles at the podium.) Rickles and Griffin handed out the award for Outstanding Reality Competition Program. (This used to be called Best Game Show.) Don announced the winner as "Herbie Dickman." If only they had let it go at that, but no. To Herbie's disappointment, it went, as always, to The Amazing Race, (What a racist show title! I'm picketing!) so Scott Baio went home awardless once again. Tell the truth academy; this category is really, Least Unbearable Reality show.

Immediately after that, Sally Field gave her son an Emmy for John Adams for Outstanding Founding Father. Thomas Jefferson was screwed yet again. Jefferson is the Susan Lucci of the Founding Fathers. When last seen, Jefferson and Dickman were out drinking together, and looking for "Comely blackamoors."

The one funny host bit in the whole show was Tom Bergeron dropping Heidi Klum on the floor. What a shame she wasn't permanently damaged. She looks brittle enough to shatter.

Wayne Brady, who apparently isn't retired, just tired (He is so over.), and Kate Walsh, announced Outstanding Guest Actor and Actress Who Aren't Good Enough To Be Awarded on the Real Show. Glenn Turman (Who?) won the Actor award, though I was rooting for Robert Morse, because I adore that wonderful, kind, thoughtful, fabulous, funny man, and Cynthia Nixon won the Actress award. I have nothing against Cynthia Nixon, but hearing the words "Nixon Won" always makes me cringe.

A guy named Greg Yaitanes won Outstanding Direction for a Type of Show Not Covered in Any of the Other Categories for directing an episode of House. I've never seen him before, and I've never watched House, but what a Hottie! Greg, when you decide to moonlight by performing in gay porn, let me know. Meanwhile, don't spend so much time waxing lovey-dovey about your wife. The last thing I want to hear about when watching such a hottie is his wife.

Matthew Weiner. who is not a hottie, nor even a lukewarmy, despite his having a gay porn name, when winning for Outstanding Writing of a Drama, Comedy, Musical, or Improv Revue, for an episode of Mad Men, which I believe is a spin-off of MADtv, could not remember the names of all of his mewling hellspawn, I mean children. --- DADDY!

Candice Bergan referred to her father as "a radio star," although I'm sure I saw him in a movie with WC Fields (Ah, darling Edgar. He could make me say anything when he stuck his hand in me.), and reminded us that her father invented the Emmys, chisling the first one out of stone. Alec Baldwin only accepted the Emmy she was handing out in order to hit on her.

They started getting really mean in the fifth hour. When Vanessa Williams and America Ferrera came out, they didn't even bother turning on their mikes.That gets my Emmy for Outstanding Technical Fuck-Up. They should have done it for Howie. Some ratty drag queen named "Glen" won Outstanding Actress in a Basic Cable Series, which showed that gender lines are really blurring in America, or at least in America Ferrera. (She's really a man too, isn't she?)

Then came the most suspenseful spot in any awards show, the In Memorium montage. I hang on pins and needles (Which is even more painful than it sounds. You have to be severely drunk!) waiting to see if I was in it. I wasn't. The crowd broke into spontaneous applause when it finished and they all realised that I am still alive. Thank you, Academy.

They did an odd thing with the In Memorium montage: They began it and ended it with George Carlin. Did he die twice? He was a devout atheist, so I doubt he had a resurrection. Is being dead twice the opposite of being "Born Again"? If so, then it was appropriate for George, who was virulently anti-religion. (It was nice that his second clip was part of one of his Religion-is-a-croc bits.)

In the In Memorium montage, Dick Martin's goofy line "Here's something you don't hear every day: Merry Christmas." made me laugh out loud, and then made me miss him all over again, and I started crying. Harvey Korman's clip made me laugh also. and George's of course. How bad are your hosts when the In Memorium montage gets more laughs than they do?

But given some of the folks in the In Memorium montage, they really need to follow my example on this flog, and institute two Dead Folks Lists, the We'll Always Miss You list, and The Good Riddance List. From this evening's group, I'd move William F. Buckley and Charleton Heston over to The Good Riddance List. They don't deserve to be in a memorial tribute with Alice Ghostly, Deborah Kerr, Abby Mann, and Mel Tolkin. (Tolkin was a wonderful writer, who never penned a word about hobbits.) Frankly, the thing that lived on top of Cheston's head pretending to be his hair should have been honored as well. It certainly upstaged Cheston in his clip from The Colbys.

By the way, both Hugh Hefner and Hilary Clinton appeared in the In Memorium montage. Neither is dead, although viewers of The Girls Next Door may dispute that, and it's Hilary's White House hopes that are deceased.

Eventually we came to the nadir of the evening, the awarding by Jimmy Kimmel of the Host Award for the five horrible hosts. Of course, I always expect the worst when Jimmy Kimmel comes out, and he did not disappoint. Speeches had been cut off, thoughtful intelligent remarks had been shut down, guest presenters had had their bits eliminated, all to make room for this ENDLESS, unfunny piece, just to give an award no one gave a rat's ass about, and they stretched it out over two segments!

Whoever was responsible for this, I hope that they are forced against their will to be stuck all next summer in the Big Brother house with an even sicker bunch of losers than the ratbags who were in there this past summer, and not be allowed to be voted out.

One of the five won it. I can't remotely care who it was, as long as it wasn't Howie.

Then out tottered Mary Tyler Moore, beloved by all who have never worked with her, dressed as though she were 30 years younger than she is. Mary's body however, hadn't gotten the memo. It was like seeing your grandmother in a bikini. Dear, wonderful Betty White, dressed far more appropriately, joined Mary in presenting this hour's award to Tina Fey, and Tina showed a genuine pleasure in being honored by these two icons, though in my own humble and always abject opinion, Tina towers over Mary.

Since they had been short on Republicans in the show (Not that you can ever have few enough Republicans) they trotted out Tom Selleck, wearing Cheston's old hair (Cheston left the thing that lived on his head to Selleck, and it gave birth to Tom's fake mustache. I swear the man was wearing a lip-rug! His head looked faker than Gary Owens's.You'd think Tom would just have some of his abundant chest fur transplanted upwards.) to present the final award, for Outstanding Drama Series or Street Theater. It went to a series no one watches, not even the people on it, but I hear it's good. It's heavily Tivo'd, just never watched.

Meanwhile, all the audience wanted was to kill the hosts, as painfully as possible.

As for me, I lifted a vodka martini in a toast to the comedic genius of Tina Fey. For all the boring crap in this 43 hour program, it was worth it to see her triumph. Let's hope her evil
doppleganger has no similar evening of triumph any time soon.

Cheers darlings.


AHomer said...

Just Beautiful! I hated this Emmy presentation with a passion - except for those wonderful reprieves by real comedians and speakers.

I also wondered about the fact Lily Tomlin decided to do the Laugh-In bit. I know she's probably more of a team player if need be, but if anything she really has many MORE options right now than Goldie. It could have been a film montage. Jon Stewart made a classy move that recovered an uncomfortable feeling, and set everything in context in a genuine way, but still....

Tallulah Morehead said...

"AHomer said...
Just Beautiful!"

Thank you darling. My beauty has been legendary - completely legendary - since 1915, but at 111, it's nice that people still see it.

About dear Lily, I think her persence in the Laugh-In piece was a testament to her gratitude to what Laugh-In did for her career. Certainly she is the busiest, professionally, of the Laugh-In surviviors these days. But I have seen numerous examples of her thoughtfulness and down-to-earth nature.

I ran into her at a theater just four months ago, and I can say that, viewed close-up these days, she doesn't look anything like her true age. Conversely, I had a face-to-face chat with Alan Sues about two years ago, and he wasn't having a bad night at The Emmys. That is how he is these days. It's very sad.

Thanks for commenting. Cheers darling.