Sunday, September 19, 2004

EMMYS. I spent most of Garry Shandling's monologue adjusting the color on my TV. It's amazing they found him a tux that fits so well, since he's been obviously been living on a sidewalk in L.A. for a couple of years. He's still pretty funny though.

Since I don't have cable and just watch the same few things over and over again (mostly test patterns, infomercials, and that episode of "Seinfeld" with Molly Shannon), I can't possibly judge what's going on here. I see they're sticking skits in between awards. I don't know about that. We'll see if the tabloid coverage tomorrow includes big pictures of the skits.

UPDATE. I kind of like the skits. It's you're going to be derivative, derive from quality. Speaking of "The Larry Sanders Show," it was nice to see Jeffrey Tambor up there. I really believe Hank Kingsley was one of the greatest comedy characters since Tartuffe -- an immediately recognizable type and completely unique and idiosyncratic at the same time.

Hey, is that Jon Stewart theme really "I Feel So Good" by Richard Thompson?

UPDATE 2. Elaine Stritch has the music people scared. Well, who wouldn't be? There goes the big flourish -- they have a trap door, I assume.

UPDATE 3. I think the Democrats should have nominated Jon Stewart. And while we're on the subject, I should be writing for his show. I make lots of jokes about politics. Perhaps I'll send them some of my humorous meditations on Professor Glenn Reynolds and Roger L. Simon, with a letter of introduction from Kevin Drum. Pure comedy gold!

UPDATE 4. I've got to see that Sopranos show sometime. I hear it's pretty good.

UPDATE 5. I can't wait for the tearful farewell episodes of "World According to Jim" and "CSI Miami."

UPDATE 6. Well, I guess Mary-Louise Parker and her dress will be in the papers tomorrow. That's a good combination: serious Broadway actress and vertical cleavage.

So, is the deal with The Forgotten that Julianne Moore is really dead, or that everyone else is dead, or that everyone including Julianne Moore is dead, or that we are all the dream of a sleeping giant?

I don't mean to brag and it's certainly nothing to brag about, but I figured out The Sixth Sense when Bruce Willis first met the kid. After that it was very funny. I kept expecting Willis to say to people, "Oh, so you won't talk, eh?" and "Givin' me the old silent treatment, are ya?"

Boy, I'd hate to be George Lopez' otolaryngologist.

UPDATE 7. Oh, now, that isn't fair -- Tony Kushner wrote that play already. What do they do when a Shakespeare play wins a writing award? Get Larry Gelbart come out and say how sad it is Bill couldn't be here because he would have been thrilled?

UPDATE 8. I don't know anything about reality shows. My Mom likes all of them, so I guess I have to go with the one with the midget, if only as a sort of cryptic tribute to Michael Dunn's great Dr. Loveless on The Wild, Wild West. I will say that the whole show should be presented by ordinary people who don't know what's going on. Or maybe it should be presented, like the craft awards on the Oscars and the Best Musical Program awards tonight, at ceremonies held earlier in San Luis Obispo, and mercilessly excerpted. Then they could run a whole bunch more more Kmart commercials, and Shandling could do improv with people in the first five rows.

UPDATE 9. I'm sure Pacino was great as Roy Cohn (one day I'll see if he was as good as Ron Liebman) but he's a terrible award-winner. He needs some writers, but hell, so does Kerry, what are you gonna do? I'm amazed what a robot Mike Nichols has turned into. Mike Nichols of Nichols and May! I guess that comes from being a one-man major entertainment institution for ninety years; after a while that tan seeps right down into your soul.

UPDATE 10. It's nice that they're talking about Danny Thomas, and so sad that he isn't around today to come out here with a big cigar and say, "Everything on television today is sex! They got 'Sex in the City,' sex in the country, sex in the bathroom, the living room, everywhere except in the bedroom, where it belongs! With two beds! You think Desi and Lucy woulda been funnier if they were sleeping the same bed? They'd both be lucky to wake up alive, lemme tell ya! And don't get me started on that rap music..."

If the cops were doing their jobs the Raveonettes would be in jail for that Jesus & Mary Chain ripoff.

UPDATE 11. Now, it's too bad that Patricia Heaton didn't win because I really had a premonition that this would be the year she just flipped out and started screaming about abortion and what a bunch of murderers everyone in the audience was. Plus, Sarah Jessica Parker isn't that good.

UPDATE 12. Conan is so funny. Not so funny is Kelsey Grammer. It's weird that the new Bob Hope is an actor obviously perfectly suited to play a blowhard, so much so that I'm sorry I didn't see his Macbeth -- it must have been hilarious.

These dead-people things are so weird. First of all, there are the lulls (who is that guy? He's Jack Elam, you stupid fuck, he was in Once Upon a Time in the West). Then there's the added weirdness of film people in the TV necrotribute. It seems almost presumptuous -- like the Fat People of America doing a tribute for Peter Ustinov and Brando. (Glad they showed a clip from "Roots: The Next Generation" though.) And the people who died latest get the biggest claps. In heaven right now, Tony Randall is doing a little victory dance around Alastair Cooke.

UPDATE 13. James Spader kinda walked into TV like a CEO who'd been squeezed out and decided, fuck it, I'll go run a little shop on the boardwalk like I don't give a shit because I don't. And the little shop is a major success.

UPDATE 14. I used to wonder if the absent nominees get to choose the pictures that are shown when their names are called. Emma Thompson convinces me that they do not. Meryl Streep was very charming. Mike Nichols' grin is getting creepier, like a Bond villain's: yes, yes, everythink is going accordink to plan...

UPDATE 15. It must suck to work on a mini-series for thousands of hours and then have "Angels in America" come out the same year. Goldfinger delivers a suitably downbeat valedictory.

Hey, now we're moving. "Arrested Development" lets Opie claim a much-deserved Emmy to go with his are-you-joking Oscar.

UPDATE 16. Thank God, we're almost done. Hey, everybody love-a "The Sopranos"! David Chase is a much more manicured type than I expected. But what do I know about real writers? Thank you and good night!

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